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In 14 days, my mom will retire after 40 years of teaching – nearly 25 of them at my own high school, Horizon.

Wow, she is OLD (kidding mom, just making sure you are paying attention!)

Anyhow, this year she submitted me for one of the alumni awards my alma mater, and I was chosen. In years past, the recipients of this award spoke at graduation. However, it seems that high school graduation has become much like many of the events we as PR pros plan – a bit too long, always in need of an edit or two. So, I got cut for time – instead accepting a plaque at the school’s senior night.

Now, while vain and narcissistic as I can be (something I got in equal parts from my mom and dad), I wasn’t upset about not getting to speak at graduation for my own gain – but for what I wanted the world to hear me say to my mom during the speech.

So, in honor of Mother’s Day, I share it now:

Congratulations to all of the graduates tonight.

Before you all come up here and accept your diplomas – can you do me a favor?

Can please look up into the stands at your families – at your parents.

You know what they are thinking right now?

PHEW – we are DONE! Now how fast can we get them out of the house?

I’m kidding!

Aside from being proud, they’re scared – scared that you won’t need them anymore; that you won’t come to them for help anymore; that something bad will happen to you and they won’t be there to make it all better.

Just as your job isn’t done but simply graduating high school, theirs is not done simply because you are now adults. They are still there; they can still help make things better – let them.

Now parents – look down in the stands.

After four long years, they finally did it; your babies are graduating.

If you look hard enough down here, you will see one exceptionally white head of hair in a graduation robe tonight, who many of you will recognize at Horizon English teacher, Mrs. Carol Bailin. While your kids have been here for four years, she has been here for decades. And tonight, my mom joins your children in finally graduating too.

She has been the rock of our family through loss, heartache, love and laughter. She has kept my family together in the best and the worst of times. Tonight, I want to tell her that she may be graduating – and I am scared. Scared that as she finds her way in her new life – like so many of you are tonight – that she won’t need me anymore; that I can’t come to her for help anymore; that something bad will happen to me and she won’t be there to make it all better.

But, in looking at the faces both in the stands and on the field, I know that just as all of you parents don’t have to be scared of losing your children; and you graduates don’t have to be scared that your parents won’t be there for you in any way they can; I don’t have to be scared at my family’s next chapter either.

Tonight we all start anew – but we do it together.

Now go out and conquer the world, everyone!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms!

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio


  1. Scott Hanson says:

    You never graduate from being a mom.

  2. David Landis says:

    Great blog, Alison. And even though she’s not on this planet anymore, I think LaVerne Shirley Landis (yes, that’s her real name) is smiling down after reading this. Thanks, Mom, for all you did – hope I can continue to make you proud. Love, David

  3. Ken Jacobs says:

    Alison, thanks for making my cry on a Friday afternoon. What a great post. Your parents have much of which to be proud.

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