This post was originally published on Go Team Duncan in 2011.
When mother and child are one, she gives life and nourishment via umbilical cord. There is no alternate method to this. The baby is 100% reliant on the mother. Come time for the birth, we sever the cord. Along with it, a shared bond. Yes, the baby cannot survive without a caretaker, but it no longer matters what the caretaker eats or does with their body. It does not affect the baby (with exception, of course, to breastfeeding, but there are other options available.)
As the child grows, we as parents are fiercely protective. The little one will almost never be more than a short distance away and probably within eyesight at furthest. A bond is there. A cord. Eventually, when we are comfortable, the baby may end up staying with a parent or close friend, even if just for a little while. Grocery shopping. A date-night, maybe. Another milestone reached—another cord cut—another bond broken.
Not long after this, you can expect the ever-dreaded sleepover. Some parents tackle this by being the perpetual host, but in general, your child will be in the charge of someone else. Maybe they aren’t as close a friend as you prefer. You worry. You anticipate ‘the call’ because there is still a close, need-based bond there, right? At some point that call does not come. Cord severed, heart cracked, milestone reached.
Fast forward through several cord cutting moments… first ‘let me do it, daddy/mommy’ moment… first day of school… first signs of puberty…
The date. The date of ‘the date’ is different for every set of parents. Rest assured, however, that it will happen. Maybe it’s chaperoned. Maybe it’s not. Can you trust them? Where are they going? What are they doing? Are they safe? What if… what if, what if, what if! It’s enough to drive you completely insane with worry. You may not get the extended play-by-play that you want when they come home, either. Cord cut. Blurred milestone left in the dust.
The day. It’s time for them to move on to that next level—their life. You’re sick. Did I teach them enough… are they prepared… why didn’t I write that book of do’s and don’ts… watch the traffic… CALL…EVERY…TEN…MINUTES! This the moment in life commonly referred to as ‘cutting the apron strings’. String—cord—still cut. Fingernail gouged milestone reached and the nest is beginning to empty.
Fast forward through a lifetime of cord cutting moments… first dance after the ceremony… first home… first cord of their own formed… new milestones passed… old routes visited by another generation…
The end. All things that come to light eventually fade away. Cord cut. Destination reached.
Think back on what you have done in your life. Think about what cords were cut with you. There are probably lots to contemplate. What cords are you ready to cut? What cords are you trying to replace with chains? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Apron string graphic used under creative commons guidelines. Retrieved from https://www.shirtderbystats.com/cderby.asp?view=all&derby=Independence&page=11