As a mom my heart melts when I think about first days of school. So many apron strings to cut, so many mama hearts breaking as they see their babies walk away and into the world.
Apron Strings: In past centuries, toddlers wore aprons or pinafores to keep their clothes clean. These aprons had a pair ribbons or tapes (“strings”) sewn to the shoulders or back, which the mother would hold onto, rather like a leash. When the child was old enough to be allowed some independence, the tapes would be cut off. So, “cutting the apron strings” means becoming independent from one’s mother or other protector/authority figure and going out on one’s own.
Each stage has their own strings to cut
Kindergarten: It’s the first. That first time you let them walk on by themselves for a whole day or half a day can be tough for a mom. I can’t describe it, but the feels well up and you just cry. All I could think about was “my baby”,”There goes my baby”.
Elementary school:Each year in elementary school is tough because you are watching them grow older and older and more independent. Those personalities are meeting up with other personalities and daily making impacts on your little child. They are facing things that you have been protecting them from all these years. It’s the real world for them and you.
Middle School: The middle school years or even tougher. You have to drop your child off in that hormonal, uncertain, verbal pool called Middle School. In middle school every year is different every outlook changes as fast a New York minute. Each day they are a different person, but it’s all normal.
High School: Those years as freshmen, sophomores, and juniors when you let go of so much because they are ready. They are ready to put into practice what they’ve learned from all of those years in school. To use the knowledge, the wisdom, the decision-making skills that you have instilled in them from day one. This is the time for it all to show up, or so we hope it does. A time where they will contribute to society with those lessons learned from you, like wash your hands, be nice, no name calling, speak clearly, show respect, love your neighbor and be courteous. They are becoming men, we are seeing it right before our eyes. Our momma tear-filled eyes.
Senior Year: That senior year is another hard one, it’s a lot like kindergarten because it’s a last. Last drop offs, counting down the days of having daily interactions and preparing them for the “real world”. It’s a great year to develop and set boundaries. A time to speak of expectations and test the waters. Last days of connecting to the community, your community.
College: Dropping off that first child off at school, leaving them in their dorm room/apt can be gut wrenching. Whether you are dropping them off several hours away from home or across town it is tough for a momma. It’s a day that should be filled with no regrets. Knowing that when you leave, they will eat, be clothed, and continue to breathe. No regrets of dropping off an 18-year-old all alone with money in the bank, all the freedoms and none of the responsibilities, with a toothbrush, two sheets, a towel and some clothes; he’ll be ok. “Momma, just leave him and drive back on that trail of tears, it will all be better in about six weeks.”
The world is filled with so many opportunities to grow and develop. Fortunately we had these children of ours to love them and let them go. To become great people and to be appreciated by others. It is time to let them go and shine.