Saturday, January 26, 2008

apron strings

I am sensing us collectively beginning to hold our breath, tentatively filling our lungs, trying not to count down the sleeps over the next month, this collection of days until you leave the nest, until we say au revoir.

See, there are so many layers of fabric stitched into my apron strings, D18. A billion moments of sparkly treasures. Your first breath, your first step, songs, jokes, rhymes, movie lines. How is it that a pinky perfect babe-in-arms miraculously transforms into a gorgeous teen, a grown man? You are full of hope and promise, intelligence and enthusiasm, sensitivity and strength.

This endless summer of mornings spent in sun and surf, long walks with baby brothers and sister - throwing the dice to determine the road travelled - and ending up unsurprisingly at the dairy, our April Sun in Cuba bubble, training runs with Dad, sharing ice cold beers and jokes and opening our hearts in The Secret Garden, viewing petite french movies at the local cinema, late night crossword puzzles, your early morning offerings from BK, all are being wrapped in baby blue tissue and tied with floaty ribbons and stored in little compartments of our memories.

It's been so marvellously good, the season of your childhood. I find it hard to believe that that we are blessed with these people, and life is this beautiful. We've shared so many sunny years, all together. And now you are ready to leave the nest. You are ready to grow up. The Big Wide World is just up the road, waiting to be explored and celebrated. It's a complicated business, this Letting Go. How many kiwis make five? Mostly to preserve self, I am believing that life is full of au revoirs, for I am sure that mothers are not required to let their children go completely.

And so we continue to draw breath together for another few sleeps, and I stay awake late at night saying a prayer for you and stitching a little piece of elastic into my apron strings.


  1. Katie as hard it must be allow him to fly
    my mother wouldnt cut those strings and it ended up pushing us apart
    He knows you love him
    Hell be back from time to time
    probably with dirty laundry ;)
    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you

  2. Kate, I agree about the dirty laundry (lol) and about not trying to hold on. If you love him unconditionally he'll always be back.

  3. Kate - what a beautiful post, bittersweet, full of memories and love but also future promise. Elastic sounds like a good idea!

  4. You made me cry again!

  5. Katie sew on a special pocket just for him;-)

  6. Oh, I don't look forward to the day when the kids leave the nest. Will be thinking of you as you let him go and grow.

  7. not fair... i'm already in a bit of a delicate state and now i have to worry that in 5 years when c13 will be c18 i'll have to find your post and copy and paste it onto my blog - i wouldn't really do that.

    what a great post. and i agree with a pocket, possibly a kangaroo pouch type of thing.

  8. Anonymous6:43 PM

    Ah Kate,
    I come from a world where 18 year olds have long been pushed out of the nest, if there was a nest in the first place.
    Where at 18, you are either trying to make a buck to get the hell out of here, in trouble or a parent.
    Where you have been drinking hard since 15 and are no stranger to illegal substances.
    Your world, D's world, is so bright, beautiful, hopeful. Worry not where he is going, just look at where he's been. He is more than prepared, you too.

  9. Anonymous9:06 PM

    Hey - don't get your knickers in a twist. If our experience is anything to go by they keep a key so that they can come back to raid the 'fridge! More the worry if the ancle biters don't grow up to leave home and you spend the rest of your life contributing to the 'top shelf' existence of children who never grow up.

    "The Best Nest", remember !

  10. Anonymous5:39 AM

    Awwww. Lovely writing.

    My daughter is 19 and she left home in the summer to go and live and work in London for a year before going to Uni. It has been great. She has really enjoyed herself. She pops home with stuff to be washed occasaionally and to argue with her brothers, but it is so good to see her being independent. I thought it would feel poignant and sad, but actually it just happened and felt natural.

    It'll be fine!

  11. Oh Kate, that was beautiful! I know both of you will be fine, but I can sense your hesitation...I'm sure you have many more fun years ahead with him as he floats in and out of your house...


  12. I sit here tearing-up again...our girl left this week. What made me think it would just be the initial "goodbye" that's hard!

  13. This is a beautiful piece of writing Kate, and one which hits my heart hard. One son who has been living just half an hour away in Hamilton is off to Wellington (8 hours) to live in just over a week. My youngest is still living at home but is working full time at the moment - till he goes to uni in the second semester, and my world is feeling empty and sad - but like you, I have those memories to hold on to. Because they have been held so close to our hearts, and we have been so involved in their lives, it is hard for us when they go. But it is also because of that that they are confident enough not only to go, but also to come back - these children of ours are not like some others - they don't feel the need to stay away to prove anything.


katie's chatterbox - ha! i think that's funny! but i'm sKATEy like that.