Since Rocco was two, we’ve been a duo – and we make a great team! As a single mom, it’s always been important to me that I be present in my son’s life. Each piece of our T-shirt quilt is a reminder that I was. Between his baby clothes, and his most-recent sport jersey, there is a lifetime that we spent together.
As Rocco grew he started joining other teams – I wasn’t his only teammate anymore, but I remember watching those moments from the sidelines. He played sports, went wild on field days, went on vacations, and practiced taekwondo. Each of those activities provided him with some type of uniform or meaningful T-shirt that he’d wear for years to come. When he grew out of those things, I couldn’t get rid of them. They each memorialized a moment in his life, in our life. So, I’d clean out his drawers, and the most special of mementos would be placed in a bin, even though I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with them. I just knew I needed them, that Rocco needed them, and that they were important.
My son is a blanket hoarder. I’d go to gather blankets to wash them, and find every single extra blanket in the house on his bed. There’s something so cozy about that, something I want him to remember about his home – that he always had a blanket, or ten, to keep him warm. One day, I had one of those AHA moments – he needs a quilt that not only reminds him of the coziness of home, but the carelessness of being a kid, and the joyfulness of each of his accomplishments, and the fun we had on our family trips.
It took me a while to decide when I should give Rocco his quilt. Should I wait until he graduates from college? Maybe when he gets married? I’m so glad I decided to give it to him for his 16th birthday, for a few reasons. Most importantly – he loved it! We had fun rediscovering old memories together – we’d forgotten about the skinny jeans-phase he had in grade school until we noticed the pocket placed in its own little square. And, I can tell he holds his history close to his heart, that he’s developed a bond with this quilt. Just last week, he was really sick – and his T-shirt quilt was the only layer he needed on his bed with him.
As a mom, your life is about this little person, and then they become an adult, and you want the best for them. You have all these wonderful memories, and you know they remember it too, but this quilt was such a great way to encapsulate everything we’ve experienced, that he’s proud of, that he’s achieved.
Like most 17-year-olds, my son’s drawers are a catastrophe. So, that precious memory bin is still getting filled with memories – like his lacrosse uniforms, button downs that he wore to special events, and silly bathing suits. I’m looking forward to asking Jennifer to make us another Night Owl T-Shirt Quilt to celebrate Rocco’s high school and college years!