I have a little habit that starts around Just After Dinner O’Clock. I set my butt on the lounger portion of our couch, select something to watch on netflix, and get my sewing box out. I have embraced this side of myself. I need it. Actually I am just about to return to it, now The Boy is abed.
But first I have a story for you…
Usually this nearly nightly routine also involves one child and one cat settling themselves within cuddling position. We have years of practice at this, so no one gets poked or anything. Well, I often do, but that is fine, years of hand stitching have created callouses on my finger tips that even hard core classical guitarists would be unlikely to compete with. I feel very little through these finely padded tips. So if a child jitters and an elbow bugs, I don’t mind. All part of the comfort of home.
This evening something changed. My son looked a bit closer at what I was doing with my needle and thread. He suddenly declared “I can do That… Can I try?” and I let him. And he did it. But this is My meditative handiwork. What would I stitch if I gave this over? (Maybe finish that rug, you say? Indeed.) Luckily I remembered that recently when digging through yon Christmas box, I had come across a baggie of plastic canvas stars. Good thing I am a bit of a hoarder, else I would be back to biting my nails while he stitched my place mat borders!
He took to it enthusiastically and I was nearly teary eyed watching his nimble little digits go to town with the wool! And his eyes got brighter as he realised he was doing it and well.
I love this craft. It is simple. It is confidence building. And it is personal. If he looped instead of going under and through, it is ok. It will be what it is, a special little gift hand made by a boy who wants to be good at something. And is! And get ready for your own heart to be tugged, because as he curled himself up in his bed tonight, he told me that he would like to find a place to donate some. A place that he could give them out so they make other people happy. Is that not the spirit of Christmas giving right there?! I have a couple of ideas about where we can take some. But I think first he might make some for Christmas presents. And then maybe we can try the felt scraps. Let him see what he can make of those! Okay maybe I am getting a bit ahead of both of us, but won’t grown up uncles be glad of a little ornament hand stitched for them by a nephew?! THEY HAD BETTER BE!
This is a beginning. A great start! Something new to encourage. And of course it inspired a great conversation. About how my Mum used to make all kinds of fun stuff with canvas. How my sewing box, a box made of plastic canvas, is my personal treasure, is a memorial of her love. This can be a craft that bonds the spirit of the woman who taught me, as I teach him. And I also think it is a great skill for a boy to have. If he can sew a star he can sew a patch, fix a tent, and of course now he make his mother some really cute gifts, provided she provides him with the means…