The Caveman and I have reached that point in our lives where we’re almost proper middle aged parents. It came as a shock, but we’ve sucked it up like the troopers we are. Stretch has moved out and gone off to varsity (college in American speak).
I don’t think either of us want him to go.
It’s just that thing… You’ve lived with someone for eighteen years ( some people have been married for less); and then there they go. Off on their own life’s adventure; leaving you behind.Not on purpose, of course; that’s just how life is. Life is a big fat spinning wheel (think Lion King’s Circle of Life song). It is what it is and we as parents have to cope as best we can. We have to hope that we’ve done a good job as parents. We have to believe in our parenting skills This is a difficult thing to do. Have we given our kids enough info to get them through the next phase of life? Have we taught them enough about the madness that is life and other people? Have we taught them enough that they’ll know when to embrace the world and when to tell it to “fuck off”?
I’ve thought about this for a good few months now and I think that I’ve eventually come up with a half decent answer…
As Stretch goes off to Varsity, I’ll give him the strings/ ties from my apron (which I never wear; but anyway; it’s the metaphor that counts here) and I’ll attach the following letter:
My Dear Stretch,
Eighteen years has gone by more quickly than I ever expected. It’s been the fastest 18 years of my life.
When I was 18, the world and life stretched before me in one long string with no end; much the same as it’s doing for you right now.
So today is the day that I let you go. Like proper cut the final last little bit of the umbilical cord and let you fly.
The apron strings…go maybe look it up on Google; but I think you might understand without the help of Mrs Google. It’s that one last motherly breath; that one last motherly push – where I, as your mother, officially let go; and let you live your life. I untie the apron strings and let you go your own way.
I hope that everything we’ve taught you will somehow stick in your brain and come screaming at you in certain situations. Suddenly there;’ll be a moment when you’ll hear my voice in the back of your head screaming “NO NO NO STOP THIS SHIT!” That’ll be me. Don’t forget it. That’ll be the second voice you hear. The first – the quiet one- is the voice of Gd, gently reminding you what he’s taught you.
I hope that you will always respect the people around you; whether they be a street sweeper, a CEO, a president, a king, a queen, shop assistant or government official. I hope that you will always show love and compassion to your fellow humans. A human is a person just like you – yes maybe some are dirty, stinky, weird, hopeless, stupid, homeless or whatever; but I hope that you’ll always look at another human and think that they could do with some love and affection. That you never forget “there by the grace of Gd go I”.
I hope that you will always show love and compassion to your fellow humans. A human is a person – yes maybe some are homeless or hopeless or whatever; but I hope that you’ll always look at another human and think that they could do with some love and affection. That you never forget : “There by the grace of Gd go I”.
I hope you never ever forget that Gd is number 1; always, forever. He deserves all our love and attention, even when the whole entire world fails us.
Remember to be a gentleman.
Remember to always look up.
(Tracy Chapman song)…
All that you have is your soul
Oh my mama told me
‘Cause she say she learned the hard way
Say she want to spare the children
She say don’t give or sell your soul away
‘Cause all that you have is your soul
Don’t be tempted by the shiny apple
don’t you eat of a bitter fruit
Hunger only for a taste of justice
Hunger only for a word of truth
I hope you never forget your school motto – “Be first that you may be of service”
Think about that for a bit – always be willing to help rather than to be helped. Sometimes that is the most difficult thing on earth – to show love and compassion rather than to receive it.
Be happy. You always are. Your constant singing and whistling can annoy the crap out of me, but don’t give up. Secretly I love the way that you’re always so happy. I just really hope that it’s not hiding some deep pain. That’s just tragic. I really hope that all your jokes and singing and whistling is just out of pure general happiness. That’s a rare gift. Keep it. Hold on to it. Treasure it. Spread the joy. Always.
Life is so incredibly big and huge and amazing and wonderful; I hope that you’ll never lose sight of that.
The world is incredibly big and amazingly small all at the same time. Remember that you’re an amazing part of it all.
I hope that you’ll always look for magic – look for Gd, for Father Christmas, for the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Darth Vader, Luke, Leia, Chewy…
Here’s a small secret between you and me –
When you were born; I looked at you one day and realized that you weren’t mine. You were ours only for a while to keep and look after and to raise. You belong to Gd; to yourself;and your life. This is the time of your life; where you find your own way, your own voice; and properly learn to stand on your own two feet. We can only hope that we’ve taught you almost everything you need to know.
These varsity year will probably be the best years of your life. I hope you take every ounce and enjoyment and fun and drunken night that you can from them; because before you know it, you’ll be getting your first job and trying to make your way through life as an adult – that place where death and taxes are the only certainties.
You’ll find many woman inyour life. Maybe you’ve found her already? Whatever life may throw at you, always be faithful and true and honest to the one that Gd gives you at that specific point in your life. I hope you find a woman who is your soulmate. A woman who makes you laugh and cry and adventure and chill. I promise to do my best to love her and accept her and not be a grumpy old nasty mother-in-law. I wish you find a woman who is not your other half, or who completes you – You are a whole complete person. My wish is that you find a person who complements you and makes you want to be a better person in spite of yourself (and your upbringing).
As much as I would love to keep that little happy fat-cheeked boy with me always, I know it’s not an option. You never ever belonged to me…
Gd gave you to us as a gift to raise and care for; and then to cross everything I have that we did the best parenting that we could with your Dad at my side. Maybe we screwed up a bit. Or a lot. I don’t know, but please know that we always did the best we knew how with the best that we could offer you.
It’s time for you to stretch your wings; shake them out; take a deep breath and go fly. Fly high! Soar, right up to the top of the skies and beyond.
And because we’re that kind of Geeks…
- train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose
- fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate…
- Always pass on what you have learned
- You must unlearn what you have learned
AND THE BEST YODA QUOTE OF ALL…
“DO OR DO NOT> THERE IS NO TRY.”
I pray every day that Gd will keep you and hold you and look after you and make you some other kind of amazing.
Always and forever