Karen writes about life as a Quiltmaker in Austin, Texas; surviving in an empty nest, marriage, cooking, gardening and (did I say?) Quilting...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Spring, The Empty Nest and...

Well, it's finally happened, I'm afraid the emptiness of my "empty nest" had hit me hard this spring. Last year, our son was still in school, and we were way too busy selling off the "big house" that had been our home of 13 years, preparing for the move, making the move to Austin - another words, way too busy to think too hard about the consequences of successfully raising our son to adulthood...

And an adult he has become. He was only here a month ago. Exploring Austin with us, preparing his polished, culinary creations. Fresh from finishing culinary school AND his first full year on a single job, (he was celebrating not only his graduation, but his first full WEEK of PAID vacation!)he is, alas "All grown up"...
To me, it was only yesterday that we carried him home so clumsily from the hospital. He arrived way too easily, and was just too, too good of a baby, child, and even teenager. Somehow, we managed to survive any of the potential for damage or horror that seems to dog every parents back-of-mind concerns about child rearing these days.
Just last week I was sorting through one more box from the move - eagerly seeking to flatten just one more box and ditch another pile of uneeded, once wanted goods. Only to stumble across the crib set I made for John. Worn, but not too much - as he never was the sort to drag a quilt around - he was more likely to have a toy in hand - with the crib ruffle and bumper almost like new., the quilt - all done in red "cheater" ABC blocks - only a little worn.

Has it really been 19 years? In August it will be 20! Unbelievable... Life just whizzes by...


I made him the prequisite T-Shirt quilt to take with him when he moved away... filled with T-shirts from his early days (Boy Scouts, Nickelodeon, and MTV) to those cynical teen years (Skinny Puppy and Edgar Allan Poe) which he says he enjoys so much so far away in Pittsburgh.

But I've hesitated to finish up the Hawaiian medallion I made several years ago in his favorite blue batik colors. It is a breadfruit pattern - symbolic of new beginnings, and, traditionally given at a wedding... perhaps I'm still just not quite ready for the next stage of his and my life!


As I tried to figure out why the funk, it finally dawned on me that I am mourning the "loss" of my "little boy"... As the calls get fewer and far between, and we must depend on an occasional email or even watching his blog to keep up, he seems farther and farther away. And worst of all, he has been talking more and more about a (gasp) girl... when I always thought of myself as just his... he is after all an "only" child. Doted on, spoiled (though not rotten!), and the center of our attention... and of course no other woman's to have or hold! But don't all mother's think that of their precious sons? Oh well...


I'm sure I'll survive, as will he, perhaps it is time to find that Hawaiian top and get it done! What was it my mother alway said about idle hands...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen - You referred to your blog in one of the Vintage Singer/Attachments/maybe FW posts, and I'm enjoying reading it! I'm moved to comment, though, on this post, as I am in the same situation. We have 2 boys, 23 and 20; our younger one, Grant, sounds just like your John.

I completely understand the sadness you describe, the... may I say 'uselessness'? of having the son grow up, move away, and find another girl to care for.

Nothing more than that - I understand the sadness completely, the mixed feelings about the good news/bad news of 'If we do our job well, he'll grow up and leave us', and just wanted you to know I share it.

Deborah Lancaster
"Deb"

Donna said...

Just wanted to let you know I finally made it to your blog. The firewall never would let me before. Mom was born on August 14, 1935, so how old is she????? You always want to make her a year older than she is. Today is your oldest nephew's 20th birthday by the way.
Donna