The Ugly Brown Quilt

Well he’s gone. As a good friend reminded me, I am not the first mother to take her oldest child to university. We drove to University of Northern British Columbia, about a four-hour drive, however it took us five with stops. It was a family affair…moving Maxx into his residence. It was exciting, chaotic and bittersweet all at the same time.

“Mom, don’t make my bed, I’ll do it.” Now, he just didn’t understand. I reserved that right as his mother to make his bed in residence. Previously, had thought out the whole bed-making process in great detail! I had planned for this moment. I researched the size of mattress ahead of time. Good thing as it was an odd size (twin extra long). Fortunately, I checked or the fitted sheet I was going to bring wouldn’t fit. I spent a coffee break perusing the Sear’s catalogue until I found the perfect, flannel, extra long bed-in-a bag (sheet set and duvet..all matching) for his new bed in residence. “But, mom I want to take the quilt off my bed to residence.” That old ugly brown thing? Plus, it was queen size….

So, I returned the lovely bed-in-a bag set and ordered a simple flannel, brown, fitted extra long sheet to match the hideous brown quilt that Maxx was so fondly attached to. I knew the top sheet was a waste of money as he wouldn’t use it. Too complicated with the bed-making process. It had to be simple. Pull up the quilt and voila! Bed made. Done.

I went through all the pillows in the house and selected two of the best. I found his old flannel hockey player pillow case that his sister had made him when they were younger. I packed up all the bedding plus one more cozy blanket for good measure and felt  satisfied that his bed would be acceptable. SOOOOO, when we got to his residence and he said, “Mom, don’t make my bed,” I exercised my motherly rights and said, “I’m saying goodbye to you, let me have this small pleasure.” He smiled. I made the bed. Cozy, perfect, I was satisfied. I also unpacked his kitchen (chuckling to myself as I imagined him grabbing his “to go” mug noticing the “Maxx loves his awesome mom” written in permanent ink in my hand-writing.)

We parted for the evening while Maxx went to his orientation meetings and we went to the parent/family information night. We met up later to go eat in the brand new cafeteria with a fabulous new meal plan (sushi included!).

Maxx slept in his residence that night and we went to our hotel. The next day we picked him up after his morning and we all went to lunch with some of his friend and parents, a kind of good bye celebration. I didn’t actually get to talk to him much to see how his orientation went. I also, didn’t really get a chance to say goodbye properly as he suddenly realized that he had to get back to another orientation meeting and rush away. The parting felt chaotic and undone. It was an abrupt hug goodbye. I was strong up until that point but I cracked about then. I let a few tears fall, pulled myself together and proceeded to Starbucks for a double shot of espresso.

I am not the first mother to let her child move on to the next chapter of his life. I have two more children to say goodbye to eventually. I don’t expect it to get easier. But one thing I do know. They were never mine in the first place. They were on loan, entrusted to me by God, my loving Father to raise for His purpose. I think Him for that privilege.

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7 thoughts on “The Ugly Brown Quilt

  1. Wendy Cochrane

    I am glad to read that last bit about our children are not really ours anyway…. I certainly thought about that a lot when our Stephen went to heaven last year. If I hadn’t had that fact engrained in my mind ahead of time I don’t think I would have made it. It is very hard to get used to letting our adult children go though…. but as an encouragement- it does get a bit easier as time goes by. 🙂

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  2. Anne Forster

    That was beautiful, Loretta…..through the laughter and the tears, you covered it for all mothers….Bless you and your family…you are such a gift to anyone who comes in contact with you !!!!!!!!

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  3. Carol Anne Schmuck

    Hi Lorie,

    You do have the gift of writing. I could picture everything, as you wrote it.
    What a lovely way to express children. Hard to think of it as they are on loan to us until they grow up. I know your children will never forget all you do for them. I know, also, that I will never forget how good our parents were to Kathleen and me.
    I know your children will make you and Dan proud of them. also.

    Love…Carol Anne

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  4. Barbara Lee Shenk

    Great job Loretta! I am so glad that you took your Mother’s right to make the bed as it meant so much to you and he understood your need and loved you enough to let you:-) Good sons are like that and give us “the” smile:-) That means that we have done a good job with how we raised them even if they don’t totally understand, they love us enough to give “the” smile and OK:-)
    Blessings and prayers going up:-)

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