Cutting the Cord Part 2

Imagine a large multi-strand rope connecting mother and child. Each year of a child's life, one of the strands is cut as the child learns and becomes more independent. During the senior year of high school, several strands are cut, until only one thin strand is all that conjoins the rope. The moment I gave Sean a hug and turned and walked away, that final strand was severed. The proverbial apron string snapped in half and gave me quite a jolt. We were now officially disjoined.

Although both ends of the rope are frayed and raw from the separation, (mine more than Seans), soon the fire of experience and time will heal the fray and both ropes will be strong.

I hate saying goodbye. It's awkward and sad and there aren't any good words in the English language that express the emotion one feels. But I did well not to cry that day. I didn't want to cry in front of Sean. He had seen me cry enough and was tired of my tears. Since the beginning of his final year in high school, I cried often. Everything that happened during his senior year, I thought: this will be the last Halloween concert to play the drums, this will be his last Sadie Hawkin's Dance, this will be his last..... " I remember the Sunday before we took him to BYU, I watched him at the Sacrament table and sobbed. Have we taught him everything he needs to know to be on his own? How will the dynamics of our family change? How will I stand it to miss our weekly talks on my bed?

I know that I am not alone in this, but this is my first child leaving home. And it hurts. And yet, how can I be anything but happy for Sean? He is well adjusted and does not feel the pang of separation. He is involved and content in his new life. I would not want it any other way. Life is about moving forward. It is this perspective that helps me accept the inevitability of progress and try to channel my sadness into positive emotions of support and love for Sean.

I am trying not to smother him. I want to give him space without [too much] parental meddling. We all know there is a great sense of freedom and growth that comes with being on your own. So I respect that and I wait. And hope that Sean will call. And when he does, I cherish his voice and am thankful he allows us glimpses into his world and who he is becoming.

And I am ever grateful for the 18 Utopic years God allowed us to have together.

Here is a poem that describes my feelings:

There is a nest, perched on the outcropping of the bare bulb
mounted on the rafter in the barn.
When I found it weeks ago, it looked very much as it does now—
unseen eggs waiting inside --the promise of life.
Helpless and bare, they arrived one-by-one, four dependents,
the charge of two besotting parents.
Almost perceptibly, changing and growing.
Hinting at who they were to become.
Soon, four faces peering over the rim.
Eager eyes bright, with eager feathered wings.
This quiet, safe place becoming their past; the sky, their future.
The nest sits empty now—a reminder of that promise.
Their lives in the skies, a joy to behold.
Still, a tear.
Poem by Nina


LGH said...

Jenni, you are such a good writer. Wow, both of these entries are very powerful. Loni

We both need to move our journal entries from digital to hard-copy, book form. Your entries are precious and need to be preserved. For the short term, make sure you have a couple of backup copies on a flash disk. Allen

Lolene said...

I went to your blog, and was totally blown away. I had no idea you were such a good writer. I loved reading about your family, seeing the pictures, and feeling the emotions of having your first little (?!) birdie fly the nest. Wow. You inspire me to go back to my blogspot which I started about a year ago and haven't been back to since. Thanks!


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