Once upon a time, a long time ago, I thought I might be a jealous person.
My mother can do anything, or when I am young, I can do anything: She can sew clothing, including Halloween costumes and doll costumes; she makes macramé plant hangers and belts; she uses clay to create Christmas ornaments.
She also made furniture for my Brownie army and my brother’s Cub Scout study, crocheting blankets and planning refurbishment and repairs. To be honest, the Scouting program is usually more interesting, perhaps because there are fewer boys and small rooms in our house that can enter the basement, which means running water and overflowing areas that are not important.
The only craft I accept is cross stitch, which is more dependent on the ability to follow directions than any natural creativity. It also applies to anything I like involving the grid: crossword puzzles, whether traditional or non-graphic; Scrabble; Tetris. But when Caroline was born 20 years ago, I expressed my thoughts more or less. I can’t leave because of the needle stuck around the house.
I bought a book about knitting and made two child-size scarves, one for Caroline and one for Frank. If I go back and do needlework at any time, weaving may be my first choice.
But no one really asked for my input this spring.
This is Spring Teresa in the second grade, so she is doing a series of book reports. One is a diorama, meaning cut, glued and painted, made of clay. Yes, this is her project. Yes, she is doing most of the work, but she needs some guidance and supervision (not to mention cutting cardboard. She can’t do it yet).
Compared with helping Frank to fold 100 small houses for one of his elementary school projects, this is really not a big deal. Perhaps the hardest part is getting up and letting her do it.
This is also the spring of Teresa’s first communion, which means that we must hang a banner of feeling at the end of the first sacred mass family seat. I have an idea of how to do this project; these instructions are relevant to me. Frank and Caroline used the same banner, including the all-capital “No flicker!”
I heard that other parents bought a feeling letter to spell out their surnames; our work is too long.
However, when I cut the letter, I would have time to think about Teresa’s first communion and have time to pray for her.
Maybe make a gene to skip generations. Maybe when her children need baby clothes, they can let her do it. Because I asked not to work.