Tuesday, August 12, 2008

For Thimbleanna.....

I think Thimbleanna's latest post had us all in tears. I thought that nothing I could say would say what I wanted to say as well as Erma Bombeck said it. I've had this taped on the wall in my kitchen for forever. [I really ought to get a nicer copy and frame it!] But the words mean the same, read in a fancy frame or on a dog-eared clipping.....

Children Are Like Kites
Erma Bombeck

You spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground.
You run with them until you are both breathless.
They crash. They hit the rooftop.
You patch and comfort, adjust and teach.
You watch them lifted by the wind and assure them that
someday, they will fly.
Finally, they are airborne;
They need more string and you keep letting it out;
But with each twist of the ball of twine,
There is a sadness that goes with joy.
The kite becomes more distant and you know it won't be long before that
beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that binds you two together and
will soar, free and alone.
Only then do you know that you did your job.

There now, Thimbleanna. Don't you feel better?


Ali Honey said...

That's a beautiful poem.

It's strange how you use the same flying lessons, for your kites ( or you think you do ) and one sores into the ether and soars and soars, dodging clouds and coming through the other side; while your other kite seems to keep crashing and diving and needing more guidance and encouragement, but still wants to bob horizontally along never daring to soars to the heights it is also capable of attaining.
I guess my kites were different colours, or maybe I gave one a longer ball of string.

Molly said...

Well put, Ali....

meggie said...

It is not the holding on that hurts, it is the letting go!

Zanna, travelling tart, back in Oz said...

But I have found - and I think it's especially true of sons - who I've always felt you have 'on loan' - that if you give them the space and the long piece of string they are like homing pigeons and regularly come home for a roost - sometimes very briefly sometimes for a while but they're always floating around - just like the kites. Thank you so much for sharing this Molly. Z xx

Frankofile said...

I like the idea of a bobbing kite - kinder to us than the similar 'time's arrow' idea of Khalil Gilbran 'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth'. Both we and they need time to loosen our fierce, loving 'attachment' and to live happily even so. I wouldn't like to take the metaphor too far, but we have sometimes called ours 'eaglets'.

Thimbleanna said...

No. Now I'm crying again LOL!

But really, thanks so much for posting Molly -- it's beautiful! I think I'll follow your lead and cut it out and hang it above my desk. By the kids pictures.

Smoochies -- you're a sweetie!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

In a little corner of my heart, I'm still waiting for them to give up this independent adult nonsense and come home to Mama.

Anonymous said...

I have not read thumbleanna's blog and I am already teary.
Shall I risk it?
OK then....

Stomper Girl said...

I'm covering my eyes and not reading this stuff. I am in TOTAL DENIAL about my kids leaving me ever.

Thimbleanna said...

Molly, you've pinched your latest post! I loved it and came to comment on it. You're a saint and I can't wait to see that quilt you're working on!

Margaret Cloud said...

I can remember when Erma was on TV I always liked her and she made you laugh. That poem is the honest to goodness truth, you can't wait until they fly the coop and then you get all mushy when they say they are leaving.