Saturday, June 26, 2010

SOOC Straight our of camera: The end of an era

 Mothers  make books about Firsts…..we write down the date of the first tooth , the first steps

But sometimes it seems to me that motherhood should be measured in lasts

One last happened a few days ago

Last Saturday was the first day of R’s big boy bed and the last day of the family bed

A big fuss has been made in the week preceding the transition

And we have been telling him repeatedly how proud we are of him turning into a big boy

It has been hard for R

The first morning when I come to him .. he turns away from me and says

“See you later mama… good bye”

For he is a child with a lot of self respect.

If we don’t want him … he does not want us either

DH and I curled around him.... all of us cramped in his small bed

We explain to him that this was just as hard for us as it was for him ( it is .. I am in tears while writing this)

But necessary .

That we love him more than he could ever imagine but that its our job as parents to make sure he is independent

We explain to him about roots and wings and how as parents we must make sure we give him both

R senses our sincerity ,puts his arms around the both of us and we all three lie close- mom and dad on the puny shoulders of a 5 year old child – all three of us knowing that this is the end of an era

I say the poet Khalil Gibran’s words to myself like a talisman to remind myself that this is right and good and what we must do

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I take his picture with my phone  when he mollified starts to look at the DVD he will watch that morning

And come to a stunning realization

All this while, I have asked myself the Special needs mom question “How will he live without me “?

But there is another question -the reciprocal which all parents must face when their children become independant

The selfish human  painful question

How will I live without you?”

For more SOOC connections  with other fabulous bloogers visit Melody at  her wonderful website Slurping Life


Tara R. said...

“How will I live without you?”

This really touched me. My son is much older, and while his special needs are different, I still wonder about his future and if/when he will live on his own. I will never stop worrying about him.

Niksmom said...

Oh, this spoke right to my heart. We are n the process of registering Nik for school after a bacd experience three years ago. I've been homeschooling and he's thrived. But now he needs so much more than I can give him/teach him. That very question is so present for me now as I struggle with all the nuances of letting go. *sob*

Courtney said...

Such a touching post! Loved it!

rickismom said...

Ricki was on a vacation for a day and a half , and she missed us. But we, despite the lovely quiet, missed her just as much....

SoCo mom said...

This is something I've gone through myself -- we say goodbye to a way of life and start out on a new one.

Love definitely makes it easier -- for all parties, I imagine. I love the idea of giving our children wings as well as roots.

Thank you for another wonderful post. I like his new bed, and the picture of him starting over in a brave new world.

Lisa said...

Weepy here, not just a little but a lot.
This was such a moving post for me k, and quite possible one of my all time favorites!


Elly Yang said...

This is such a touching and wonderful post. I teared up when I read the words of Khalil Gibran. My dad once told me about the same thing.

korin said...

Recently my husband made a crack about chasing boys off the front porch when ruby is older because she's so cute. I replied "we will be so lucky"... and then I realize the same
"how will I live without you?"
and my heart shatters into a thousand pieces that she gathers up and heals once again.

Mr. Daddy said...

love how you always write from your heart K.

Peace be with you and yours....

JoyMama said...

Congratulations to all of you. How grown up R looks, on his big bed with his DVDs!

I love the Kahlil Gibran quote. Sweet Honey in the Rock does a beautiful musical setting of those words -- I linked on Elvis Sightings to a YouTube of a trio singing the arrangement a while back.

Such beauty in your post, and in your family.

Lyndsey said...

You will all be okay.((((hugs)))) He's such a wonderful boy, and you are wonderful parents. And you'll only be right down the hall in case you need to go sneak into his bed with him. ;)

Hope your trip is going well. I'd love to get together soon!

Anonymous said...

very son graduated from high school this year and will soon be embarking on his own life journey as an adult. While I am thrilled for him, I'm sad that he's going to be "leaving" me. For right now, I just try not to think about it :-)

Kris said...

"How will I live without you?" indeed! I often wonder the same about my kids! Hugs to you!

Þorgerður said...

catching up on your blog and as always loving what i read.

Kari said...

So touching...your son is truly blessed to have such sensitive, amazing parents!

I think every mother can relate to the struggle we feel as we release our children to independence. It isn't easy, but so necessary. Hugs!

Melody said...

Now I'm crying and not sure what to say, but it's a good cry. Your son is strong and wise, like his mother...remember this.

I understand the worry x3 of how will they live without me and more difficult, how will I live without them here with me.

As mother by birth and the gift of adoption, this line tugged true at my heart for both:

"They come through you but not from you..."

Thank you for sharing the poem. I'm printing it.

Anonymous said...

Feeling the emotion of current and future separation from our children now and esp with your touching post.

I once heard a speech about 'lasts' of childhood behaviors. You have given apt tribute to a 'last'. Sending congratulations to you, DH and the respectable R.


Kim Wombles said...

How true; we don't realize just how integral to our lives parenting becomes, and as the commitment of our time and energy tapers away as they grow and blossom, we can find ourselves lost in all the time our children, in their time of need, once filled. I homeschooled my oldest from the age of 9 until he turned 19, and I was at school with him the two years preceding, and then my daughters came along 8 and 6 years ago. They all settled into either school or the day center (for my son) at the same time, and I was alone for the first time in more than a decade. So many empty hours to be filled; hours that were once overflowing with tasks, with attention and effort, and the business of trying to work with three kids on the spectrum at the same time. It was a hard adjustment, one I'm still learning to make. :-)

Frogmum said...

Awesome post ~ so many true words! Sweet picture too :D

Patty O. said...

So, so true. I think sometimes I need my kids more than they need me.

Tammy said...

My biggest last was when my 11yo autistic son was finally potty trained last summer. The last pullup. It was great.

Lea said...

We tend to concentrate on the firsts, instead of the lasts. With our kids, sometimes the lasts are so much more important.

Kim said...

Catching up on your blog after being unplugged! I just love your "voice" and have enjoyed reading a few posts all in a row!

The big boy bed and the stretch for independence - such biggies.

Anonymous said...

"For he is a child with a lot of self respect."

You have a beautiful, soulful way with words.

This is a good step for you all. I hope you'll write about how well it is going.

怡如怡如 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bonsky said...


So beautifully written as always. As I see M pulling away followed someday by E and then finally little M, I will take comfort that I have done my job. Our job is to give them wings so they can fly away (wherever that might be) and we are so so fortunate to have landed that gig.


caroline said...

incredibly touching.... painfully true... but peaceful in accepting it all in the end. thanks for sharing your journey -

ya done good :)

Rachel said...

So very true!!! I have chronicled (in my heart) all the "lasts" of Itty Bit. And taken time to mourn each one.

And sometimes we don't even realize that something is the "last" until you miss it one day and realize how far you've come.

(Yes, I am dreadfully sentimental and I carried my sound asleep son to bed recently and realized that it had been SO long since I'd rocked him to sleep while standing... something he couldn't live without for a year).

This post made me wistful... and it seems we are always in some type of transition because our children are constantly growing and developing and BECOMING. And part of that success is a heartbreaking independence.

Thank you for writing so beautifully about it. I admire your Mother's heart so very much!

robin said...

Very touching...loved it! I hope his transition continues smoothly. My MIL used to say a quote from a newspaper taped to her wall in her living room...something about the greatest gift you can give your children being the roots (something about heritage) and wings of independence. I wish I could remember the exact wording but can't. I know I continued to think of that quote when my older daughter left from home so long ago. Cute pic of R and his big boy bed!

Shovona said...

very nice post. recently a girl got marrid and her mother was weeping buckets, and so was the girl..... silly I thought ..... but I guess she was crying because ... of the same question - "how will I live without you". very nice and touching

Julie said...

Oh my. So touching...

thank you for sharing your thoughts and your heart. I hope the transition goes well...these things are so hard.

danette said...

Beautiful... I can sooo relate to this. I don't know how I will handle it when my babies are totally independent :(. Letting go, even in little baby steps, is so hard.

We've been putting Bitty to bed in his own bed for a while now, but I admit that I secretly love it that most mornings I wake up to find him next to me :). And secretly miss when his big brothers did the same, even though it was very crowded when they did!

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