A friend recently forwarded an email to me titled "The Invisible Mother," a short essay comparing the tireless and often thankless job of a mother to the builders of Europe's great cathedrals. Both give their whole lives for a work they will never see finished, both make sacrifices and expect no credit, and both are fueled in their passion by the faith that the eyes of God see every detail. The writer of the essay was inspired by the thought that our endless efforts in motherhood, invisible as they may seem, are worth it and can make an enriching life.
For many of us, the way we choose to hold our invisibility at bay is by creating something tangible. For me, my days often end with knitting - my love of fiber and the need to do something relaxing end up producing something I can hold and look at. Nobody will know how many times I swept under the high chair that day, or how many toys I picked up, or how many times I tried to coax a "please" or "more" or "sorry" out of my 5 year old. But a darling, handmade infant hat? That you can see.
I start new projects every day, and my 10 year old does the same. In this process of creating (and yes, often not finishing our projects!) we connect with each other and a bigger picture of ourselves in the process. My plan for this blog is to share the projects that excite me and bring some accessible proof of my existence in this invisible world of mothering!
So, this blog is dedicated to the mothers out there whose days are filled with the minutia of tasks that build our children and our families. I often tell people that I haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up. But for now, I am the builder of a great cathedral. With every shoelace tied, lunch packed, and forehead kissed, I build.
And I can hardly wait to create something new...
Monday, February 24, 2014
I Love My Mom
But then, said knitter and mentor mom get addicted to knitting blocks and are cranking them out daily, using all the fun patterns they've never gotten to try in their shared library of fabulous knitting books. Pictures are exchanged daily, and it is decided that these two addicts will knit their own afghan to donate, apart from the knitting group. Messages of excitement and praise are exchanged, and the knitting bond grows deeper.
And then one night the knitter climbs into bed, worrying about her mom's upcoming gallbladder surgery, and starts to think about mortality. One day...hopefully not for years and years and years...but eventually, one day, Mom won't be around anymore. And the beautiful, amazing afghan that they knitted together with such joy and fulfillment is also gone. Gone to a stranger who may be grateful, but who won't be able to cherish it the same way the crafty knitter would. This amazing heirloom afghan that could be passed down, talked about, and enjoyed through generations of mothers and daughters...is gone.
So, the knitter has a good cry and tries to decide if she's being selfish and un-giving, seeing as how this afghan wasn't meant for her. She struggles - does she continue to let her mom happily knit away, not knowing that a secret plot has been hatched and is steadily growing stronger?
Then, a couple days later, Mom sends a picture with the message, "Just for fun I took this pic of my 19 squares!! Man, this is so fun. Getting awfully attached!!!"
It's a done deal. There is no way this afghan is being donated. The knitter's heart would hurt forever if she let it go. When the knitter emails her mom back and explains how she's feeling and asks if it would be ok if they made this blanket for her to keep and then make another one to donate, Mom's single world reply is..."Yes!!!"
Thanks, Mom. I will cherish our blanket forever, just as I cherish you - all that you've given, all that you've taught, all the amazing things you are.
So now we have the fun of finishing a ton of block options which we can piece together the next time we visit - hopefully at the end of March. I'm happy to return to my knitting with a light heart!
In recent block news, I hit a bit of a bump with an entrelac block I had hoped to include. I cast on 35, as I am doing with most of the other blocks, but I didn't calculate all the 'extra sideways width business' (ESWB - technical term) and so ended up with a block that is twice as long as it should be. Not sure what I'll do with it. :P And the variegated yarn I used was super lumpy bumpy chunky (LBC) and not the best for entrelac, so I will be finding a different yarn to attempt a repeat at some point.
Sticking with the same yarn scheme, I created two new blocks. Love the icord heart, but am on the fence about the cabled icord hashtag thingy. Not nearly as cute as I'd hoped.
But I love the next block duo to bits! Using Malabrigo again, here's my "buttoned up" and "squared lamb's tail" blocks...
Just realized I still need to block and dry the lamb's tail - oops! And with that, off I go. :)