A well loved pair of handknit socks blew a hole the other day. I knew they were going. I could see the yarn beginning to look threadbare, but I wanted to still wear them. They kept my feet warm and were comfortable. Plus, I made them! That counted for a lot right there. Yet, the inevitable finally came and I had to face up to the fact that they were gone.
Ah, yes you're asking yourself. What does that have to do with the picture up above? Well, it's my poor attempt at a metaphor. Because, today you see, is the last day of middle school for Matt. Once again, a thread that holds him to me is being worn away.
From the moment our children are born, we are cutting the threads that tie us. Literally, the cord is cut and then we are encouraging our children to sleep without holding, eat on their own, walk, talk, trying to get it all done like the books tell us to. Parents of older children always tell us to relish in what you have, it goes so quickly. Yet, when we're in the moment of babies, toddlers, and elementary school we don't. We are working so hard to prepare our children for being independent, that when it happens, we're shocked!
Those of us that have middle schoolers and older are well aware of the new challenges that face our kids. Where there use to be much talking; silence, stony stares and occasional grunts occur. We jump at the chance to listen when conversation does appear. Patience is practiced over and over again.
New worries fill the space of old. Have we taught our children to make good choices? Will they be able to handle the failure that will be placed in their paths and turn a poor opportunity into something positive? Will they come out on the other side happy?
The picture of the boys in the kayaks was a huge step for me this year on our vacation. I don't usually freak about my boys escapades, but the ocean scares me. Just as probably, let's say you might freak if you saw my boys going over ski jumps. For some reason, the ski jumps don't bother me. But the ocean does. I cut a thread this year(abet, not very well), trying not to freak as my boys body surfed and rode the kayak. No, Jaws did not appear and eat my children up and we all survived. It was a huge moment for me.
I wish good things for my boys as they grow older and hope we've helped to lay the foundation for an exceptional high school experience. And just like with the sock, I know the moment is coming when they won't be here with me, but I plan on cherishing every second I have until that time comes.