The proverbial apron strings started growing between my kids and me the moment they were born. I found I was their lifeline to love, safety, food and every other need they had. Those apron strings held tight all through their childhood and teen years. They grew stronger as I cooked, did laundry, drove back and forth to school, helped with homework and baked endless batches of cookies and loaves of banana bread. When they traveled off to Panama, Mexico, China and Russia on summer mission trips, I found that the apron strings were more like elastic.