Sunday, December 13, 2009

Boomer Attempts to Be Her Mother's Daughter

Yesterday I sat in my big comfy living room chair, craft and seam ripper in hand thinking about my mom. She died in December 2003 but it was the craft that got me thinking, not the month.

The object of my affection is a 'garden tote bag'. The bag is an experiment, as most of my crafts are, but this one has no intended recipient. I just thought maybe I could do it. The book says it will take only 3-4 hours. I'm on day three. Day one just involved picking out the material and cutting the pieces. On day two I began sewing but stopped when a particular set of instructions just were not computing. On day three (yesterday) I read the instructions again and suddenly a light bulb went off (the aha moment as we say in the consumer research business) and I was able to complete the next several steps. Then the instructions seemed to inexplicably assume I knew what I was doing, leaving plenty to figure out on my own. So what do I do with the extra bottom piece? Why do I need to leave four inches unsewn? Shouldn't I be attaching the pockets in some way? I began to improvise and that's how I ended up in my chair with the seam ripper.

And that's when I thought about my mom. My mother was a very good seamstress, crafter, do-it-yourselfer kind of gal. I inherited her interest, but not her talent. She'd have been able to fill in the gaps easily. She was a puzzle solver.

I remembered a pillow I made a million years ago. I can see my mother showing it to one of her friends remarking on how I'd made it. She seemed prouder of that pillow than any grade I ever got in school. At some level I guess, you hope your kids are a little bit like you. Perhaps that pillow made her think, "Yes, she is my daughter!" I sometimes look at Teen and wonder if she picked anything up from me and I admit I perk up just a little bit more when I hear she got an A on a math test, my favorite subject in high school.

Today I will pick up those instructions and read them again. Perhaps I'll have another aha moment. Perhaps today mom will be up in heaven singing, "yes, she is my daughter!"

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