Monday, July 9, 2012

This Is Not a Place to Get Lost At Night

 "For these woods go on for miles and miles . .. . . ."

I'm here to officially announce, I have finished the trees! I'd show you pictures, but you've seen enough already. I am working now on redesigning the background after hearing my daughter's critiques of the sample crumb blocks I made. Her reaction? The conversation went something like this,"

"Those are too bright. I wanted teal."
"Those are teal."


 "No," she replied,  "this is teal."
"That's not teal, that is a steel blue, more like a cadet blue."
"Well I thought it was teal. I want the quilt to be smoky and dark."
"But I finished the trees and they are already white. And I showed you my drawing. Now I'm not sure what you want." I'm feeling a little frustrated now, especially since I bought all of that teal fabric.
"I want the colors to be like that song, "You've Come to These Woods to Hunt Me." This is her current favorite song, a haunting, melancholy melody befitting of any young, teenage girl seeking her voice as she merges into adulthood. I listened to this song again, more closely, transcribing the lyrics. I marveled at my daughter's vision, her way of seeing color when she hears a song. And these are such sad lyrics,

And you’ve come far, I know.
You’re a long way from home
With loved ones who are waiting to hold you

Classic emotions for someone who is seeking a quest of what, they are not sure of. It made me pause and remember again what it was like to be 14. It wasn't an easy time at all, I do remember that. I decided after some thought to redirect this quilt again to try to encapsulate this time, that emotion, or more pointedly, those whirl of feelings,  that time in life when one was never sure which thought might surface or when, and only hoping that the appropriate response would appear when needed. When speaking or engaging felt so overwhelming at times, all one could do was stand still like a statue. I will try my best to honor all of that behind the trees. I also plan to intertwine my own, motherly love to help guide her through that fog.

I do remember fondly, my children's innocence when they were so young, before they found out that sadness and evil existed. I came across this YouTube video today of this preschooler painting and wanted to share it with you. But you've seen it already, I bet, since over a million viewers have. This little one just had her first gallery opening in New York last month at the tender age of five, where she sold all of her paintings the first week.

As I watched it, I had so many thoughts and questions that ran through my mind as a mom.
  • How in the world did they remove all that paint from her hair?
  • I wish I had the wisdom to set aside a room in my home for my own kids to do this.
  • Jeesh! That's alot of paint and canvas! Isn't that expensive?
  • She looks so confident and focused, and sure of herself.
  • How cool it must be to just play in my art like that and not worry about the end result.
  • If only I had set up just one session like this in Children's Church. I bet then, they would never had asked me again to run it. Then I wouldn't have been left by myself to manage without help for three years.
Well, I'll stop here. I've saddle you already with pictures of failed blocks, sad music and videos of over indulged children. (That last comment is mainly due to my being a neat freak coupled with being secretly jealous of all that fearlessness.)


  1. I'm confient that it will turn out wonderful. All of your very detailed thoughts and feelings will come through to create something truly special.

    1. Thanks Michele, Creating a quilt top without a pattern, and with lines that are neither perpendicular, vertical or horizontal is my biggest challenge thus far. Once I finish making the background blocks, the mechanics of piecing this together so that it lies straight and flat will be my next fearful moment.

  2. What a delicious post. I think that perhaps many many parents are thinking/feeling/sharing the same thoughts as you have expressed. Thank you so much for this.

    1. Thanks Mary, I have to confess, my usual first emotions I reach for when dealing with a young teen is frustration and irritation. I spend a lot of my parenting moments taking back my words and asking for a "do-over". At least in our household, we allow each other second chances.

  3. I think that a mother who takes the time to understand and try to remember is getting as close to being a perfect mother as any of us get! It doesn't make for over indulged children, it makes for confident, well adjusted, understood, loved, caring, marvellous people for the future.
    I saw a quote recently which I thought was ace- 'they say to leave a better world for our children; how about leaving better children for our world?' This too is important- and if yours and my children are one of the 'better children' then we have done everything we possibly could do!

    1. Thanks Heather, I love that quote! I think I'll use it some way.I was just introduced very recently to the Japanese world view, Wabi-sabi, finding beauty in the flaw. It slows me down a little bit before I voice a criticism. I have a lot of work to do. But I hope to raise a daughter and finish raising a son who enters the world more fearlessly and more prepared than I was.