Friday, June 28, 2013

Apron Strings

Photo credit:  Inside Nana Bread's Head

My sister Debby recently paid me a sweet compliment about my writing.  She said,  "When I read your words, I have this picture of you wearing an apron surrounded by your kids, with a smile on your face, and an apple pie cooling on the counter. That comes to the surface in your writing. It's old-fashioned goodness. I love it."  Siblings have that way with each other, don't they?  Somehow we can just understand one another so well. Because it's true that when I am at home I almost always have an apron on, a sweet homemade apron lovingly sewed by another of my sisters, Diann, and that looks very much like the colorful ones hanging on the fence in the above picture.

My kids have an annoying habit of using their cell phones to videotape me unawares and when they play the videos back for me, I almost always have an apron on.  Last Christmas, I was happily rolling out the cookie dough on the kitchen table and my daughter Mary was recording me as I was telling her the story of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe.  As I was sharing this spiritual story, my son Jack kept coming into the kitchen to snitch the raw cookie dough and I dramatically changed from kindly sharing my favorite story to yelling at Jack with a hearty "Get out of the kitchen and stay out!"  And the whole family cracked up.  I don't remember ever laughing so hard at myself before.  The kids like to tease me by saying that when I die they are going to show that video at my funeral because seeing me go from a tender moment to yelling to laughing all within two minutes is how they always want to remember me.

These days, though, the thought of aprons and the attached strings with children hanging onto them often makes me feel a bit melancholy.  With two young adult sons venturing into the real world, I realize how quickly the years pass and I struggle with the difficulty of letting go, trying to trust that they will hold onto the values that Paul and I have worked so hard to instill in them, but understanding that there is a very real possibility that they'll venture into paths that carry them far from home and from God.  I'm not quite ready to cut those apron strings and let them go their own way.  I want them to realize all of the hopes and dreams that I have held deeply in my heart for them.  But, the only hopes and dreams that they need to find are their very own.  It's a hard lesson for this mother to accept.  Sometimes I wish they could stay little forever.

Old St. Mary (photo credit:  Badger Catholic)
On a joyful note along those same lines, my niece Jenny was due to have her sixth baby induced yesterday.  Jack and Mary, my two youngest, and I, attended the 7 AM Mass at our wonderful new parish, Old St. Mary, and just as the lector was reading the story of Abram and Sarai's difficulty in conceiving, (Genesis 16:1-16) Jenny and her husband Dan slid beside us in our pew.  They were on their way to the hospital but wanted to pray at Mass before the delivery of their newest baby, a boy.  Isn't that a beautiful thing to do-go to Mass before the birth of your baby?  As the lector read the words of the angel to Hagar, "You are now pregnant and shall bear a son," Mary and I couldn't help but smile and nudge Jenny at the truth of those words.  I'm always amazed at God's perfect timing!  I was wondering if they might end up naming their baby Ishmael to follow through with the words of the reading, but today, after nearly 24 hours of labor, they joyfully welcomed Joseph Daniel to their family.  Jenny and Dan are still in the blessedly beautiful early apron string years with a houseful of little ones tugging for love and attention. What joy!

Here's a lovely little song from one of my favorite movies, She's Having a Baby, aptly titled  "Apron Strings."

1 comment:

  1. Love the aprons and the apron story! You are truly blessed! Yes, our children are grown and gone too quickly it seems but we will always enjoy their return. Love that your niece and husband went to Mass on their way to deliver their child! What an example for their little sixth baby and family. Prayers for all....God bless...