- Special Sections
- Public Notices
My college daughter and I were chatting on Facebook when, for some reason, she decided to text me. Apparently, it takes two modes of technological communication to equal the satisfaction of one real-life conversation.
I responded, “I like how we are simultaneously Facebooking and texting each other. One of these days, you will need to cut the technological apron strings.”
She asked, “Is that a term you’re trying out for your next book?”
I explained that “cutting the apron strings” is an expression used when a grown child branches out on her own and doesn’t depend on her mother so much anymore.
Daughter responded that it is sexist to assume all women wear aprons, and the mother is always the child’s primary caregiver.
I believe this is an age-old adage that does not need to be scrutinized under the microscope of today’s politically correct generation. Not to mention, I do wear aprons, and I am the primary caregiver to my children. So, at the very least, the term does apply to my needy college daughter.
Actually, as she begins her junior year, she is probably the most enthusiastic Hoosier attending Indiana University. In the meantime, my son is gearing up for his first year as a Boilermaker at Purdue, the dreaded rival college. As of this week, we are officially a house divided. I’ve been thinking of ways to handle the delicate situations that have started to present themselves. For the benefit of my children, I have come up with the following:
1. Which team I root for will be determined by which of you has the highest grade average.
2. Younger siblings are allowed to own one T-shirt in crimson and cream and one in black and gold. They may also have one pom-pom to represent each school. These are to be worn at the child’s discretion; no bribes or threats allowed.
3. I will not be pressured to do laundry. If a younger sibling wants to wear Purdue gear but that item is in the bottom of the laundry basket, the Hoosier shirt will have to do. That is, unless someone else takes the initiative to run the washing machine.
4. Gold and black are acceptable colors for Thanksgiving decorations, whereas crimson and cream are more logically suited to Christmas. Do not give me an IU turkey baster, because it will remain unused. The same goes for the Boilermaker Christmas tree-topper.
5. I have two mouse pads to represent each school. These can be easily swapped out, depending on which of you is home for the weekend. In the event that you arrive simultaneously, I have a spare mouse pad from Notre Dame, the school that rejected you equally.
6. IU daughter, you should know that your father attended Purdue. This fact cannot be changed. I have kept the tiny black Boilermaker shorts he was wearing the first time I saw him in something besides a McDonald’s uniform. (This was back when boys actually wore true shorts instead of the khaki cargo “shorts” that actually look like baggy capris.)
Every muscle in his sinewy thighs rippled as he walked toward me, and it was all I could do to keep from pinching his clearly defined backside.
If he ever manages to fit into those shorts again, I will make sure he wears them all the time, even if your GPA is higher and we are rooting for IU that week.
7. Purdue son, ignore all the stories your father tells about his crazy college days – especially the ones about that wild preacher’s daughter he met (and eventually dropped out of college to marry). It’s all a pack of lies.
The truth is, he studied diligently and stayed the course. He not once gave a thought about girls until he finished his degree. You should do the same.
8. Finally, whether your team wins or loses, I am always here for you. There’s no need to cut the technological apron strings just yet. Maybe never.
Ginger Truitt is an author, speaker and mother of five. contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.