This realization came as I was reading the novel, Quilter's Holiday, by Jennifer Chiaverini. In the book, the character Diane is lamenting the loss of certain traditions her now college-age boys once treasured. She begins to realize that as grown men, they aren't interested in little things like her traditional Thanksgiving Eve lasagna or opening doors on the Advent calendar to countdown the coming of Christmas, and her boys aren't around anymore to join their parents for church each Sunday. As this mother describes her sadness, I began to think about what my family will be missing when my oldest son, Jake, leaves for college next year. This is really the last year that we will do certain traditions together as a family like the annual trip to the pumpkin patch or the carving of the pumpkins. He might not be home when we all decorate Christmas cookies together, and I will miss Jake's presence in the pew with us at Sunday mass. I also began thinking of the things I had always wanted to do with Jake but never got around to.
So naturally, I felt a sudden panic realizing I had forgotten to make my son a quilt! It was something I had always intended to do for him. After all, shouldn't a quilting mom make quilts for her own children? When Jake was 6 years old, I did make a quilt top in a Jacob's Ladder pattern using train, truck, and airplane fabrics he helped pick out. Sadly, I just never got around to quilting it. It has sat for all these years as one of my forgotten UFO's. I'm sure he would still appreciate a quilt, but that quilt top made for him 11 years ago is now to juvenile for him. So in addition to all those family traditions I would like to cram into his last year home, I will have to add a 43rd UFO and make a quilt for him a quilt.
This is Jake on his first day of preschool in 1996. He was so excited, he refused to stand and pose for a picture so I got him on the run. The picture below is Jake on his "last" first day of school on August 17. He once again refused to pose for a picture so I snuck up on him with my cell phone!