When I was newly married, nearly 20-years ago, one day my husband came to me with a sock in his hand and a hopeful look on his face. The sock you see, had a hole in it. He gave it to me and like the good wife that I was, I smiled sweetly, gently took it from his hand and immediately tossed it into the trash.
Buy a new one. I said.
That pretty much sums up my abilities and attitude toward domestic craftiness. Crafty is not my forte. I keep a neat, clean house and even cook, occasionally. I love to celebrate, decorate (with pre-made, store bought items of course) and bake. BUT I do not darn.
I don’t sew. I don’t needle point. I don’t crotchet and I do not knit. That would require sitting patiently for an extended period of time. Not going to happen. I absolutely admire those who do, truly, I do, but -I– do not.
What astounds me, is that my eleven-year old daughter does! Knit that is. How can this be? It’s certainly not in the genes. And yet, it’s not just a passing phase either, like the finger-knitting was. That ended after about 100-feet of straight and narrow knitting (enough to wrap around a staircase banister about five times, like garland only it’s very thin, colorful and made of yarn) and about thirty finger-knitted neck warmers she and her friends made to sell at school. No, this is different. She’s using needles, has more than one set and even asked me to buy her a pair of bamboo ones. She’s completed a wrap, a scarf, a small blanket and has even knitted jewelry — a necklace and wrist band. She learned last fall and there’s no sign of her stopping; it’s a knitting-frenzy if you will. Dare I say, she’s got the knack-for-knitting. And she’s at it, every free minute she gets.
In the car, at school…
In the kitchen….
Even on the baseball field!
I’ve written before about her unique and trend setting abilities, how I want to be just like her when I grow up. How proud I am of her.
But this knitting thing kind of throws me for a loop. (Pun intended)
Truth be told, I couldn’t be happier.
Tell me, do your children have talents that surprise you?
Once you’ve brought your bundle-of-joy home and realized that the temporary sleep adjustment period is really sleep deprivation with staying power– like, a few years staying power — you barely catch a few much needed ‘ZZZs before you find yourself entering the realm of unnatural attachments; your child’s affinity for a favorite toy, binky or blanket perhaps, turns well, ugly. Your little tike’s obsession usually rears it’s head for the first time, when you forget, it, which is usually on a very long car ride and it’s usually, way too late to turn around and go back for it after you finally realize what it is, that your child is convulsing over in their car seat. It, you quickly learn, is the one and only thing that can make long car rides enjoyable or absolute hell, lest you forget it. Shortly after this stage comes the era of repetition which could last for several years. Be it a word, a song, a story, a movie or all of the above, moms have heard it, sang it, told it, re-told it and watched it, over and over and over again, a zillion times, all before their little one has reached the ripe old age of five.
Another truth: the myth that moms have super-powers, is not a myth.
There is a certain inexplicable, ESP-like knowing that comes with the insanity of motherhood that all moms possess in varying degrees.
My mother could see it in our eyes.
L – I – E, she would say, I see it right there in your eyes. Now, tell me the truth.
How could a kid argue with that? The jig was up and the truth was told. It’s all in the eyes and she also had eyes in the back of her head.
When my kids are in awe of, or aghast by, something I know that they thought was in their own little vault, I merely look at them and say,
Who am I?
Over the years, they’ve learned there is only one correct response to that question when I ask it.
That’s right. I am, The Mama. They know it and The Mama, knows.
It’s true, mom’s just know things, especially when their kids need them. There’s an instinctive inner nagging that just doesn’t quit when one of my kids is in need.
It’s a super-power that comes with giving birth; a natural brain-radar for knowing or being in the right place at the right time with the right people for finding out. It never fades either. To this day, when I‘m upset or in need or retreating and trying to hide from the world for whatever reason, I can be certain of one thing: my mom will call or show up or find me in my darkest hour. And no matter how much grief I give her or how much I lean or unload on her, she is ALWAYS there for me — still.
At 74, she continues to be an amazing power of example.
When I count my blessings and I often do, the fact that she is still with me and such an integral part of my and my children’s lives is right up there with my children’s health. Being a mom is not only a blessing in my life, it is the biggest privilege of my life, an honor that I don’t take for granted and am constantly working to improve upon. Motherhood requires insane amounts of patience, understanding and perseverance and all too often, I find myself falling short or being short when what was really needed was a little more time or just an ear and not an opinion. The beauty of being a mom thankfully, is that it is a lifetime gig with a chance to do better tomorrow.
Children are adaptable, forgiving and full of surprising, heartwarming rewards.
Recently, it occurred to me, that every time I make dinner for my 13-year old son, he “thanks” me before leaving the table.
Thanks for dinner, mom.
And the other evening, my 11-year old daughter didn’t want me to spend too much money on knitting needles for her. Knitting needles! I know NOTHING about knitting. I bought them anyway.
“Oh mom, these needles are so beautiful – thank you!”
Making dinner for my son is a pleasure and I was spending money on my daughter’s new hobby and passion for knitting, not playing video games, KNITTING!
It can’t possibly get any better than that.
Here’s to moms EVERYWHERE, their insanity, their super-powers and their blessings!