If You Set It Free…

Long time, no blog, huh? I seem to be having a bit of trouble keeping up these days. Do you ever feel like you’re doing a lot but not getting anything done? That’s how it is here in ThimbleannaLand, plus it feels like things are falling down all around me. I could probably write my to-do list in the dust on the furniture! Ah well, busy is happy, right?

TheFirstChild had his orientation for medical school this weekend and families were invited to attend the White Coat ceremony. We arrived early and I was glad we did because it was cool to see all of the white coats neatly laid out on the student seats before the students started arriving.

White Coat

It was a wonderful ceremony and in a tradition that we saw when TheFirstChild went to his undergrad orientation at a different college, the Dean of Admissions spoke about the characteristics of the students in this class. He spoke of the diversity of their gender (56%M/44%F), race, age (19 – 41), and home countries, states and counties. As you can imagine, they come from very different backgrounds and some have overcome hardships to make it to med school. He read excerpts from a few essays by the students — my favorite was from a young man who had been an army medic and had been to Iraq three times. They are also an incredibly talented bunch — among them they have enough musical talent to form an orchestra, with the exception of a bassoon. The Dean read a list of a few of their hobbies and at the end he said they had knitters, crocheters and sewers among them who would hopefully use those skills in surgery. That comment got a lot of laughs!

White Coat

There are approximately 305 students in this class which, I think, is the largest med school class in the US. Each student walked across the stage and handed his white coat to his dean who then helped him put it on.  One of TheFirstChild’s friends since kindergarten (and a groomsman) is also in this class so we had the added bonus of seeing him receive his white coat too. Before we knew it the ceremony was over and it was time to go. We had dinner with the newlyweds and then sent them on their way.

White Coat

I suddenly find myself joining Isabelle in the ranks of the melancholy. The newlywed’s wedding and their move were small potatoes compared to this.  This time it’s real.   They’re off on their own now to work long hard hours in pursuit of their dreams.  My little butterfly slipped out of my grasp when I mistakenly had my palm open. What was I thinking? I should have held on tight.


61 Thoughts on “If You Set It Free…

  1. What a sweet post. They do grow up don’t they!

  2. I know what you mean…It seems I am losing butterflies at an alarming rate. It appears that very soon, I will only have one left here with me. That thought is not sitting so well.
    But I do consider myself very blessed, as I am sure you do. You must be very proud of your son and his wonderful accomplishments!

  3. what an absolutely amazing picture. i’m sure the ceremony was wonderful too. you must be -so- proud. love the shot of the two of them walking away with the ‘construction ahead’ sign in the background. indeed. :)

    nice to hear from you, anna.

  4. Oh Anna, your post brought tears to my eyes! You must be so proud of DS.

  5. I have all this to come – mine are still tiny but it must be hard to let go. Lovely post and many congratulations to you all. Emma x

  6. Mary Jane Smith on August 10, 2008 at 11:43 am said:

    Hi Anna: What a nice story! And great pictures. I know you are very proud of your son. I also totally understand about letting them go. It’s the same thing I’m starting to go through. Thanks for sharing!

    Mary Jane

  7. oh Anna, you made me cry. glad you got pictures to capture it all.

  8. Yep, blubbing. That’s what I get for snooping over here whilst waiting for *something* to happen in the wee burg of ‘Frankonia’. They look to be an exceptional young couple. Hopefully life won’t be too hard on them. You and M.O.T.H. did a good job and that son of yours is in a good place… so why am I still weepy??? Lovely post, good woman. C

  9. Congratulations to your son for getting his white coat! WOW! You must be so proud! How exciting for him and bittersweet for you. You’re doing good, Thimbleanna, you did the right thing with your butterfly! :)

  10. My mom felt this way too, but it will pass. She was so blue while we were on our honeymoon. I just couldn’t understand it at the time. Construction ahead seems a fitting sign as they past it. There will definitely be some joyous times in their future, but also some stressful times as well. What a neat ceremony. What a honor to be invited. Very special blog, Anna.

  11. thanks craphead. i needed a good cry this morning like i needed some more clothes to fold!!!
    tell firstchild your imaginary friends are proud of him. and we’re proud of you too.
    hugs and smooches from godscountry

  12. That’s how I felt when I saw my son receive his commission at Officer’s Candidate School. Where did my little boy go? Who told him he could grow up and become a man? Who told him he could be so responsible? Once in a while I would give the world for a hug from that little boy. But oh, how I love the man he has become.

    Congratulations to your family and good luck to your son and his wife.

  13. Yes, I’m teary too! But you’ll always be his Mum and he’s always going to need you x

  14. Oh honey. Would it help if I sent a screaming 3 year old your way? I would do it for you, you know. (Smiling sweetly, lol.)

    In all seriousness though, Jack is small, but I always remind myself that this job is a job of letting go, one small piece at a time. :-)

  15. Ohh sob! But how proud you must be!

  16. But he’ll always come back. And what a bonus that you have a great DIL too xx

  17. Aww, hugs to you Anna! I think the last pic of them walking away is very ironic! “under construction” sounds very apropo for this time in their lives!

  18. Hi Anna,
    What a lovely story and I can tell how proud you are of him- and so you should be- It is hard letting them go- it seems like yesterday that my son was a baby and now he is 20- making his own decisions and learning about the ups and downs of life. You want them not to be hurt and hope that life treats them well…You realize that they are no longer little children and sometimes a bandaid and a hug won’t heal the hurt of a broken heart-
    And yet there is joy in knowing that you have helped them become self- sufficent caring adults..
    And so it is -this circle of life –
    Hugs ,
    Anna No Blog

  19. Oh, Anna! Be still my Mama Heart. I’m having a moment, too, just looking at all those lovely white coats all folded so precisely. How touchingly marvellous!

    I’m sending you a great, big ((HUG))! I hope that when it’s my turn to let go I do it with as much wisdom, grace, elegance, and joy as you have. :)

  20. How appropriate the “construction ahead” sign is! Best wishes to you and to them! :-)

  21. what a wonderful day…definitely worth the dust !
    And dusty surfaces make great notepaper :)

  22. mary from utah on August 10, 2008 at 9:07 pm said:

    My little butterfly.. I got tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.. when I read that. What beautiful words. I’m SO glad mine are still small.
    What a great kid and a proud mom!

  23. Oh, Anna…. I have a lump in my throat from reading your last paragraph. And the tears are starting to well…

    And at first it didn’t hit me so much, when I was reading about someone else letting go…but then I remembered that I have a son, too, who will one day slip from my grasp. I just can’t even think about that yet.

    Beautiful post. Wishing your son the best! You have reason to be proud of him.


  24. Anna, this post really touches home. Both of my girls are poised to leave in February and I can hardly stand the thought.

    Your must be so proud of your boy! I love the pictures you posted and your words are so sweet. (((HUGS))), thoughts and prayers are being sent your way!

  25. Oh Anna you have left me crying my eyes out! Thats not fair! I can only imagine how hard that must be … I hope you are OK and I send you lots of hugs from way over here!

  26. Wow . . . that last photo really says it all. Construction ahead, indeed. I think I’ll go kiss my babies. {sniffle}

  27. Let the dust be, it will still be there long after all your butterflies are gone. Such precious moments make every sleepless night, temper tantrum, sickness and heartache worth it. Well done on doing a great job so far.

  28. Bu you know those butterflies come back to the same place, the very same tree, year after year.
    (P.S. – Being a grandma is the bomb!!) Just sayin’

  29. A really lovely post Anna – what a thoughtful ceremony! But don’t worry – they will both always be your little boys! Lucy x

  30. What a lovely tradition. And such fantastic photos. You are such a lovely Mum!

  31. Now fancy making us cry early in the morning. beautifully written words from your heart Anna. I’ve had to let all my butterflies leave my grasp. It has it’s moments of being hard, but when you see how well they do on their own those feelings change and you can feel a smile etched on your face.

  32. Oh Anna, what a sweet emotional post from a loving mother. What a great accomplishment you helped him make possible. You know the saying – behind every successful person is a mother. So true for you. Congrats. Hold on, its going to be a bumpy ride for a bit. My son-in-law is in law school, which is similar but not dealing with life and death. Those boys work hard. Its an exciting time for your family.

  33. You must be so proud of him! What a great picture of all the coats on the seats. I am actually quite happy when people post only once a week or so…otherwise I can’t keep up with the reading :)

  34. Wow, how proud you must be. There is nothing more satisfying to us parents than seeing our children succeed in life and pursue their passions. Congrats.

  35. A beautiful post Anna and lovely pictures.

    My Mum always used to say ‘You never really cut the apron strings. You just let them stretch.’

    I’m feeling the same about my littlest heading up to Junior school in a few weeks, so heaven knows how I’ll be when they’re off into the big wide world!!!


  36. It’s very difficult to let them go but we must and we do it knowing that they won’t go far. What a sweet post, Anna! Thank you for sharing.

  37. What a proud Momma you must be. Thanks for sharing…I will hold my little ones just a little titer today…it all goes by so fast.

  38. Oh Anna I had tears in my eyes reading this, I can imagine how you are feeling. What a proud moment for you and what a huge letting go. Let the butterfly soar high and he will flutter by on many a visit!

  39. And I am super teary about Kindergarten…I cannot imagine.

  40. A wonderful post from a wonderful post, you know you had to set him free didn’t you? I feel quite moved….

  41. remove the second word ‘post’ and insert the word ‘Mother’…got birthday over excitement lol!

  42. Oh Anna Anna Anna – my heart smiled and cracked a bit when I read your post. What a wonderful and awesome thing for you to witness. Your should be so proud of him and what he’s accomplished and what he will accomplish at the end. I had a tender heart when I read your post and had to wait until today to respond so I could do it without crying, LOL. How do those days go by so quickly – I want those little butterflys back :)

    Hugs – Karen

  43. I knew I shouldn’t read this post… now I’m off to go hug my little monsters. Great post.

  44. Oh, Thimbleanna, don’t get me started! My boy hasn’t been in touch since Saturday!! Three whole days!! Possibly the fact that he’s working 70 hours a week might have a little bit to do with it but – I miss him. Sigh. All the best to TheFirstChild.

  45. What a great accomplishment in his life and something for you and your husband to be so proud of. You made me cry too! My two middle children are headed off to college and will be moving out in a few weeks. I’ve tried putting a heavy rock on their heads but, that didn’t work. (Family joke: My son tried to be He-Man when he was four and dropped the rock on his head. His sister asked what that red stuff on his shirt was and he just replied oh, it’s juice! He had to get a few stitches! lol! Thanks Anna for your comments too!

  46. Lindah on August 12, 2008 at 8:40 pm said:

    “I should have held on tight.” Oh, no–the tighter you hold on, the faster they slip away.
    How exciting that you could attend the white coat ceremony. You must be very proud. Med school will be a rough journey, but great rewards. Congratulations, Mom of the Dr-to-be!

  47. What a proud Momma you must be – and yes, sad and lonesome too, I can understand. This is a lovely post. It’s tugged at my heartstrings.

  48. Anna, what a lovely post. You have to be very proud. It is so sad when our little chickies leave the nest. Isn’t it amazing how fast the time flies and it seem like yesterday when they were in diapers.

  49. Anna! My name too! We have a few things in common I see from the comments that you left for me!!

    What an accomplishment for your #1 son..a white coat..you must be so proud even though a bit
    melancholy.Yes butterflys must be set free.hugs aNNa

  50. What a neat picture – and a great accomplishment for your son! I originally wanted to be a doctor, but then ended up not wanting to be in school that long, so I became a registered nurse instead. A part of me still wishes that I had gone the doctor route instead, though. Best wishes to him as he goes through Med School. =)

  51. After comment #37 I left a comment which directed you to come over to my blog for a comforting poem… it seems to have disappeared! But it’s not too late….the poem is still there, waiting for you.

  52. You know it is for the best, & you know they will come back again…& again.
    Being a mother is one of life’s hardest jobs!

  53. Bittersweet moments…life is full of them, no? No matter what, you’ll always be his mom. In his world, there’s no one quite like you. Take care, Anna.

  54. Oh Anna, I just loved reading this post. You and hubby must be so proud. The pictures to go with this post say it all. Great post !!!

  55. Wow, you must be so proud! (sniff, sniff) I think I would be a puddle…an absolute puddle!

  56. Anna, you brought a tear to my eye. What a wonderful job as a mum you have done!

  57. OMG you just brought tears to my eyes. How proud you must be of your son. And what a cute photo of the two of them walking away together.
    Still on the road but we should be home in a few days!!!

  58. Oh, goodness — makes me want to grab the two-year old and hold on tight. Too bad he won’t sit still long enough!

  59. I’m so moved by your post, Anna. A delicious read. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  60. My heart goes out to you.
    It’s a good life, and it’ll keep getting better!


  61. P.S.
    I thought the construction sign in the background said a lot too! A kind of *sign*.


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