Strings Attached

A mom on Facebook posted about calling her adult daughter and asking how things were going during the Coronavirus shutdown. Her daughter rattled off a number of activities happening and mentioned having bloodwork. The rest of the conversation was lost on the mom. The first thing she asked was what the bloodwork was for.

Moms are like that. We’re concerned about how our babies are doing outside of our home nests.

Even though my twin daughters are home with me, I wonder about how this surreal time is affecting them. We have spent some evenings staying up a little later to talk through anxieties and fears. I see the end of Alabama’s Safe-At-Home order as a promising heads-up that the end of quarantining is approaching. I don’t know if I can go back. I’m truly nervous about how I’m going to respond to having to go places. Not only will it be necessary to get to places on time again, I fear there will be protocols… protocols I will overlook inadvertently. I’m going to be feeling pretty silly and awkward, trying to work out the new hygienic social etiquette rules.

end of quarantine meme

In preparation, I enlisted Pearl, my youngest (but only by one minute) and craftiest, to help me sew our first face masks. Sewing is not one of my great skills, but I’ve always imagined I would become a great seamstress. As Lady Catherine DeBourgh puts it, “If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient. And so would Anne…” I have tried a number of times to get my daughter interested in sewing. I asked her on this occasion if she was willing to sit at the machine. Pearl decided she’d do best to stick with the cutting out and ironing.

“Sewing is not my thing,” she said. “There are too many strings attached.”

I grinned and laughed. She’s a witty one, I thought, and, inside, my heart turned over. As her mom, I want to prepare her for anything and everything she may meet when she gets out on her own. A few sewing skills might come in handy, but one can’t be sure of what the next generation is going to need to prepare for the future. I remember the novelty of email, how much phone money I saved at college by writing electronic messages instead of calling. Here we are, during this threat of a pandemic, communicating almost entirely online. Strangely, it isn’t that big of an adjustment. But what’s next? What does Pearl need to know?

Pressing the sewing foot down on the material, I lowered the needle. One thing I’m sure about: whether she sews or not, Pearl will always have to deal with having strings attached. Our heartstrings are attached, and this mom is grateful for every minute I get to talk, laugh, work, and enjoy this short time with her.