Last week, it was still terribly cold, but somehow I talked myself into walking up the road to the quarry, wearing an outfit that made use of a wool blanket and a large safety pin, on top of my usual winter regalia. Even so, my eyes were teary from the cold, and on the way back my eyelashes actually froze together.
Coming into my driveway, I had a sudden, distinct memory of my kids when they were 12, and 8, and 5, sitting on our back porch on a spring morning, playing with a box of kittens. It may have been that the light was similar, that brought the image back to mind. I thought of myself back then, 40 yrs old, frustrated and desperate for the family to "grow up" so I could have some time to myself, some time to weave. I also remembered that even as I thought it, I knew I'd miss days like that, when they were young, playing on the back porch in the sun. It was such an intense remembrance that I couldn't shake it all day.
They are grown up children now, each living her/his own adult life. I might be able to persuade them to come back and play with a box of kittens on the back porch, but sooner or later, they'd want to go back to their jobs and homes. Having children, for me, has been the experience of putting myself out of the center of my own life, loving human beings so hard that it often hurt, and still always, always encouraging them to leave me, little by little. That's a pretty tricky thing to manage, emotionally. We want to keep who we love close, usually.
Well, I got through that day without a tear. I wasn't sad. I have my workshop, full of projects and good looms, with good warps on them, and more to come. I am so fortunate. I have what I only dreamed of on the back porch with those kids that morning. I have what I hoped for then, and better. After all, I still have those kids, who are adults you'd like to know, if you knew them, and I am free to work. I am 24 years older, a lucky woman.
Item: In case you haven't seen it, Vibeke, the vivacious Norwegian knitter, tea and poetry lover who writes A Butterfly in My Hair, is having a Month of Giving on her blog right now. She has interviewed artists on the subject of gifts and giving, and asked each artist to contribute a gift each day in the Month of Giving. Leave a comment on her blog for any of the gifts you'd like a chance at winning. In a few days, one of my rag pot mats will be offered, with a small interview. I chose to give away the pot mat because Vibeke is such a great tea lover, and I imagined a hot tea pot sitting on it. If you'd care to read, comment, and enter to win, please do. There's lots of pretty things, and interesting people to meet over there.
Lovely spring green in the scarf! I long to see that colour pop up outside.
Such a beautiful post. As a woman and mother of a certain age, I can totally relate to your words.
this resonates, this is beautiful
I am in love with your hot mats....and I love the picture of you.
I know exactly what you are talking about....I miss my kids being small, all those times that will never come again...but like you, I have 3 wonderful daughters that I wouldn't trade for anything.
I opened your blogpost and went into the kitchen for a cup of coffee, the sun streaming through the windows in shafts of March brilliance, sat down, ... thank you for writing such a moving post.
What a lovely post. The photographs are beautiful, your work inspiring and your words so touching.
I forwarded the post on to my two adult children with the Subject: What she said.
I am now going to write this post location in my book of inspiring things I don't want to loose.
Hilary, thanks. It was hard to describe, without sounding sad or just smug. But, maybe that's what it is. It looks to me like grandmothers have it both ways
Dawn, I love that you give me the benefit of the doubt. I wouldn't want to waste your time
Teresa, I'm so pleased you identify with my experience.
it's a relief to read your words. i raised my kids to be independent, and am always so surprised when parents don't do just that! it's always a chore, but you being your own person for them as gift, as model, as amazing woman AND mother is huge. HUGE.
I'm in love with your weaving - somehow came across your scarves on Pinterest and got totally re-inspired to get back on my loom. Sadly, I screwed up the epi when I tried to work on some "avalanche" scarves of my own. Lots of experimentation required. Thanks, anyways and looking forward to following what you're up to.
Hi Susan, I'm taking your lovely post about children as my birthday present. I wore your scarf yesterday to much acclaim and, as usual with your work, with delight and distraction as I find something new and wonderful to see and feel in it continually. I hope you find something equally beautiful on your birthday. Of course, I know you will.
what a lovely post
those bright image, a scarf!
and you ;^))
and the story about your children
moved me and.... well, it could have been me writing it
how i can miss the time they were little
and how i can enjoy it that they are not
thanXX for your words
i keep my fingers crossed for that hot mat
Pam, You have so much style, you make that scarf look good! Happy Birthday! I hoped this post wasn't too obviously a birthday taking stock, but you knew, of course. .
Here we are, another year to fight the Good Fight! Together!
Patrice, thanks for showing up! I hope when I try to write about some ordinary life experiences, not crisis, or something very dramatic, that someone else recognizes the same feeling. It is what life is made of, these small daily revelations. I'm glad you put your name in for the pot mat. I'm so curious where in the world it will end up. Nice if it were on your table!
Velma, Mothering! I did what I could, but I'd say my grade was B/ B-, and that would be generous. Luckily my kids were resilient ( lots of times they gave me the benefit of the doubt) but what it did for me was transformative. I did become a better person, in spite of myself!
You spoke my heart.
Interesting how those moments come when they are least expected. I want them little again so I can have "do overs" on some of my more obvious mistakes. But they are wonderful adults because of, and in spite of it all!!!!!
Haha, Barb. "Do overs" That's the truth.
What lovely post about your love of family and of life. Your scarf is lovely as are the pot holders.
Do you have any of these lovely pot holders left for sale?
anyavieve @ yahoo.com
Visits to your blog are thought-full and artfully inspiring. I feel like I am leaning on a loom, looking through the window with the geranium pot and filling up.
Cynthia, I hope you are here again someday
Rachel, Sorry, I don't sell them, I make them for gifts only..
Thistle Rose, thank you
Hi Susan! Beautiful memory- I wish so much that I shared your view of the cold... I will try harder next winter! :)
I LOVE your scarves...
how can i buy one?
Hi Susan.. I adore your weaving. Your work is stunning and so inspirational to me. I am a new weaver and have fallen hard ~ thank you for sharing your work. Best, Leigh
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