It was 6 am on a Saturday that this question was posed to me. Honestly…it kind of stressed me out. The hour wasn’t so much a problem, but the knowledge that you don’t just “sew” sent my mind searching for it’s internal calendar, and wondering if we had enough time to invest in a project that might get to the “sew” stage.
My mind has several “apps” for lack of a better term. There’s the calendar…which I have already mentioned, this one has been working overtime lately with three busy kids, a business to run, and an active volunteer schedule. There’s the filing system…one of the least efficient…which keeps track of things like my to do list, as well as projects that I am working on…or more likely were started a long time ago. There’s also a part of my mind that focuses on hierarchies…or priorities. This is the part that sometimes gets in the way of the “to do” list app…this is the part of me that puts relationships first…sometimes to my detriment.
This priority “app” was getting my full attention. You see…this girl who asked me the question is one of my most treasured relationships. She is my last born, the messiest in the house, and also the most in need of attention (I think that’s a common trait of “babies” of the family). She rises early…sometimes I feel like it’s to start bugging me early, but other times I realize, that this is sometimes her ONE chance to get all of me. The ONE time I will look her in the eye and FOCUS on only her.
There hasn’t been much focus lately around here. For about a month now I have been doing the parenting thing solo. My husband has been a member of the Air Force for almost 25 years. (I know, we’re much too young to have been involved in ANYTHING that long!) He joined the military because he wanted to serve his country, and be part of the organization that protects our way of life. Shortly after we got married he switched from active duty to reserve status which means for us that for the most part he goes to the base one weekend a month, and does a two week annual tour. It also means that once in a while it’s his turn to serve by being deployed for a time. The opportunity arose, and we decided that we would be proud to make the sacrifices necessary so that he could do what he signed up to do. I’m proud of my husband, and I’m glad to be able to contribute myself by keeping things going at home.
One of the ways I am trying to “keep things going” is to keep an eye on each of our kids, and help them adjust to the stresses of deployment as well as I can. For each of them, it’s different. Sarah needs that focused one on one time, time to feel like the center of our world. Catherine likes to be in “the know” and needs to feel like she is sharing the work load…which I am oh so grateful for! Jacob is comforted when he is contributing something meaningful, like he is being the man of the house. I have tried to manage to provide these for them…all while managing the quilting business, and the rest of the “mom stuff.” Oh and the “dad stuff” too.
Even though I have an excellent support system, and many people have offered to help, all this is a bit exhausting…and to be honest, I’m not really doing very well. I am having a hard time returning messages, and the quilts are running a little behind schedule. I am also perpetually late, and in need of daily naps. However…at 6am on a Saturday…I seemed to be running on all cylinders and my mind’s “apps” seemed to be coordinating!
My calendar knew there wasn’t anything scheduled for that day. My filing “app” quickly calculated how long it has been since I cut those 2 1/2″ X 3″ rectangles (could it really be 10 YEARS!?!?!) and my priority app knew that Sarah’s request to sew was so much more important than whatever I might have planned for them…10 YEARS ago! So we set to work. I found that old shoe box in the drawer, and let her go through it and find the fabrics she liked. She likes to keep her dad apprised of the goings on of the family, so she asked to have a video taken. At seven, she is pretty impressive with a quarter inch seam…and seems to have picked up on my perfectionist tendencies. The resulting block was colorful, and sweet. The time spent together…priceless.
The shoe box has since been raided by my production oriented first born, who came with me to work at our local quilt shop last week, and between vacuuming and folding fabric, managed to complete 10 more blocks. I’m guessing that Jacob will want to get in on the action too. Perhaps, by the time Daddy gets home…at which time we will have cold weather…we will have worked together to complete this quilt. I pray that it will bring us all comfort as we await his return, and will become a part of many future happy family moments!
Do you have any quilts that were born out of the desire to find comfort in a time of distress? I’d love to hear their story!