Sunday, April 27, 2014
Back when he still had that new baby smell
For as long as I can remember, September has meant the beginning of school.
This month, my son and I have been on the road visiting colleges. Hours of driving, talking and sharing music have allowed me to get to know the amazing person he is today.
So maybe I will stop picturing him as a 3 year old, when I dropped him off for his first day of pre-school. I remember holding back tears as I said goodbye. He waved briefly, headed toward the Legos and never looked back.
I purposely avoided soothing pastel colors for this portrait. I see my baby's beautiful angelic face and calm temperament, and I'm tempted to picture a blissful carefree childhood. I could pretend life was simpler and sweeter in the "old days". But it wasn't.
Life has offered amazing opportunities but it has also yanked the rug out from under this kid many times. Fate rearranged his family without his permission and sometimes without warning. His heart has welcomed new family members and grieved the loss of others. By high school, he had gained and lost 2 dogs, attended 4 schools, lived in 6 houses and visited 8 countries.
Life has taught my son to travel light and plan loose. To live in the moment, not hold onto the past or the future too tightly. He doesn't panic when plans or expectations suddenly change. He simply adjusts and finds a way to live in whatever environment he finds himself.
He has the emotional and mental strength to survive and succeed on his own. I will try to remember this as I drop him off at college in the fall. I know I'll be holding back tears as I wave goodbye. I expect he'll start exploring his new place, and not look back.
Technical details: hand dyed cotton fabric, cut and layered, raw edge applique, machine quilted using free motion stitching. Finished size: 18" H x 27" W