The only time I’ve gotten emotional about your wedding, the only lump in my throat I’ve gotten so far, has been when I’m working on this shawl. Not when Joey gave you that gorgeous ring , not when we finished your engagement photos, and not even when I saw you in your wedding dress. I’ve even boasted that I probably won’t even shed a tear at your wedding…
But every time I sit down and work on your wedding shawl I feel the lump in my throat, I become nostalgic, and picture you in all your years, all your stages, all your days, leading up to this year, and all the letting go that will happen between now and next May. I knit away and fight tears, almost every time I hold this soft alpaca yarn.
Tonight I was evaluating this silly phenomena inside myself. What comes to mind tonight is Nurture.
When you were a baby, I was your sustenance, it was me who sustained you, I was the source of your nourishment (well, except that one weekend when I left you with Sara to nurse you because you wouldn’t take a bottle, and she called in the troops from church to supplement…but that’s another story), and as you grew and matured and tried out your wings, it was still me, your only Mama who dressed you and guided you and taught you. You had school teachers and youth leaders, friends, older cousins, brothers, your Dad of course , and Grandmas and Grandpas, but it’s always come back to you and me at the end of the day. At the end of a trauma (and there’s been plenty), at the end of a triumph, in the middle of trials and tribulations, it’s always been me you ran to. I’ve always been your person.
Maybe what I’m getting at tonight is that in the process of knitting you this shawl, this memento, this scrap of fabric that will protect from the cold on a Northwest spring evening, maybe I’m beginning the process of cutting the apron strings. I think I’m making something for YOU, but it’s coming to me that in a sense, I’m making something for myself: A new metaphor, instead of apron strings, the wedding shawl; a reminder that although I’ll always be your Mama and you’ll always be my baby, your first person, your main person, the one who will nurture you and provide for you will now be the man you marry the day you use your shawl for the first time.
(I went to flickr to grab my favorite photos of you and I together from your childhood, only to find…none. I’ve scanned for Caleb’s wedding and Josh’s, and you are in those, but the best ones of you are still only on paper…another project to finish before next spring!)