Tag Archives: Knitting

Gratitude journal

P1210653My husband asked me to start a gratitude journal with him and write in it every night together at bedtime.  My husband is a writer, an artist, a songwriter, a musician and an all around artsy guy.  I guess that comes with making a living as an architect.  I have my crafty moments (like when I make snack bags for the kids and when I decorate cakes or when I knit), but I am not really good at introspection and journaling.  I am way more into taking family photos to document our lives.  So, I kind of blew off his suggestion.  This blog  and Facebook is the closest I get to writing about anything.

I have already written about my husband’s extensive journaling of our family’s life.  He likes to write about and sketch most things that go on in our lives.  He has pages of drawings of home modifications that will never happen, ideas for songs, quick sketches of our kids doing everyday things, ideas for businesses, and a variety of lists…books to read, movies he loves, movies he hates, music he wants to buy…the list of the lists could go on and on.  Someday, my kids will fight over all the sketch books and journals lying around our house with their father’s notes, drawings, songs and dreams.

When my kids were babies he started a little notebook for each one of them.  Whenever we visit family, we have our relatives write notes to our children in their respective books. My 8 year old is on to her second book.  Of course, the younger kids do not have as many entries (because they are younger and because by the time you get to three kids you forget to bring the notebooks to many family events).  It is so much fun to go through them now and see notes from grandmas, grandpas, great grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles about our babies learning to crawl, learning to walk, mispronouncing funny words, going to school for the first time, having holidays together and riding bikes.  I look at these books as “baby books” for lazy parents.  I have somehow convinced my extended family to keep track of all my kids’ milestones so I will not have to.  Not bad, huh? I do try to jot down a few lines when the kids do something noteworthy or we have a particularly good day, but I do not do it often enough.

So, in an attempt to contribute to our family’s history and herstory I am going to take my hubby up on his offer and give this gratitude journal a try.  What do you think?

Tight Knit

Mommy and son knitting at the library

Mommy and son knitting at the library

I taught my 6 year old son to knit today.  He is home on Winter Break from school and was bouncing off the walls.  I was trying to tune out the kids fighting, running, yelling, and generally being kids so I plopped on the couch with a new knitting project and tried to focus.  Within minutes, “my overly active, never sit still, can make any furniture a trampoline” son sat down next to me and asked me to teach him.  I was reluctant at first.  There was no way he could do this without getting frustrated and waving my knitting needles wildly.  This was going to end in another trip to the Emergency Department.  Besides, I was not going to let him practice on my very expensive fancy yarn that we got on our “date weekend” to New Orleans a few months ago (http://www.pagewoodfarm.com/flora-fina.htm). But, he insisted.  So, I had to find him a set of needles (they were in the computer desk, of course) and some spare yarn (skeins of yarn for hundreds of unfinished or more likely never started projects are stashed in every drawer and every closet around here).  I did not think he would have the patience to wait for me to gather what we needed and cast on enough stitches to start a scarf and then wait for me to be able to show him what to do.

I was WRONG.  He not only waited patiently, he watched over my shoulder as I carefully cast on 20 stitches and then knitted the first 2 rows.  When I tried to sit behind him and take the needles in both of our hands, but he said “I got it, Mom. I watched you”.  (Really?  It took me weeks to get the hang of knitting.)   I knew he was capable of focusing on something he is excited about (usually a new toy or a superhero movie that I have finally agreed to let him watch).  I also  knew he was good at spatial relations (like his father, the architect) and figuring out complicated diagrams (like Legos).  What I did not expect was that he would make mistakes (only a few) and ask for help without getting frustrated and that he would stick with it most of the day.  He even asked to take it to the library and sat with me knitting while the girls picked out books.

An added benefit was that as he was knitting, he was talking to me.  He rarely talks to me.  I mean he asks for food, and snuggles occasionally and refuses to go to bed and tattles on his sisters and says he loves me (usually when he wants something).  But, he doesn’t talk to me about anything important very often and if I try to initiate a conversation he gets embarrassed or too silly to talk.  The knitting changed all of that in a way that even the focus of building Legos cannot.  Today, I heard all about the kids at school, his teacher and her dog.  I heard about his favorite songs from music class. I heard about his fears that his friends might tease him for learning to knit because “they do not know how fun it is and they might think it is only for girls ” (not sure how this could be my kid).  I heard about his future dreams “he wants to live at home forever” (ugh!).  I also heard about how he thinks about people who are homeless a lot and wants to donate his warm scarf once it is finished.

The other thing I heard that I have not heard in a while is a calm, silent, focused, happy boy.