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Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

Shearing the Apron Strings

As  we celebrated my youngest stepchild’s college graduation yesterday and contemplated all the new adventures she’ll create while embracing a new, independent life, I was struck several times by clock hands and their rapid ticking around the nucleus of my life. As every parent is, I’m amazed at the passage of time and the speed with which our children grow. With snapshots of our daughter in cap and gown tucked snugly into my mind to mingle with the pictures of her youth, I know yesterday’s celebration marks the beginning of a new era in our relationship with her. She’ll soon be moving more than 1,000 miles away and the primal call to strike out on her own away from the pack will change the dynamics of parent-child interactions.

I found myself grateful yesterday to know we still have a 5-year-old at home. A little person who makes our house feel alive. With the last of my four stepchildren claiming adulthood, I’m thankful we’re still hands-on parenting someone much too young to desire a complete shearing of apron strings. However, I think I’ve underestimated the time we have left between now and his bitter sweet desire for independence.

While my husband and I attended our daughter’s graduation, Aaron spent the day with a good friend and her three boys, who happen to be triplets. Yes, you read that correctly. My friend had four 5-year-old boys at her house from 6:30 yesterday morning until 8:00 last night. I think she should be knighted or sainted or declared an angel. Seriously, anyone who welcomes your child into their home at that hour, while also knowing the following hours are going to be rather chaotic, is a hero in my book.

I’ve never left Aaron anywhere for that amount of time and I was a little nervous that he’d fall apart if he grew too tired. I’ve mentioned before how I’m a complete freak about where Aaron spends time and with whom. I’ve never hired a babysitter but I did consider hiring a private detective to check out his preschool teacher. Just to be safe, you know. Anyway, I didn’t have any queasiness about Aaron spending the day with our friend. We adore her and her family, but I was nervous about Aaron’s ability to hold it together for such a long day. You know….without me.

After the graduation ceremony, I texted my friend to ask how things were going. She immediately replied, “All is well. We ate pancakes, rode bikes and scooters, hiked a nature trail and played soccer…all before lunch. We’re headed to the pool shortly…”

I’m sure none of you are surprised to know that when I arrived to pick up Aaron last night, he took one look at me and said, “Mommy, can you please leave and come back later?”

I have a feeling he’s going to be ready to shear those apron strings much sooner than I am.

It’s day two in my commitment to post every day for the month of August as part of NaBloPoMo, and I’m really excited that my friend  Jan over at the Sushi Bar has also joined. She’s promising more of her wonderful recipes, new photos and as always, Jan knows how to tell a tale. Stop by the Sushi Bar. If it isn’t already, it’ll soon become one of your favorite clicks.

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