Monday, January 30, 2006

The Woman I Swore I Would Never Be . . .

I Swore that when I had children I would never be that woman who:

- sits in the back seat of the car with her child
- has nothing interesting to say at a party social function, but just sort of stares at her child
- takes her child out with a sticky face and hands
- opens packages in the grocery store before paying for them to feed her child
- forgets to bring the baby and extra set of clothes
- lets their child go out in stained clothing
- wipes snot from her child's nose with her fingers
- lets her child run around at other people's house in just a diaper on a hot day
- breastfed in public
- yelled at her child
- lost her temper over petty things
- stopped doing things she loved just becuase she had children
- wished that someone else would take their child for a few hours
- complained about how little time they had when they were at home all day

I am sad to report that my son in only 16 months and I am that woman.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Beautiful Moment

Every night, I change the cat's litter. I take my little bag of remnants outside and place them in the garbage bin on my back deck. And that's when it happens. The moment. I close the garbage lid and I look out at the sky, the trees, and my backyard. I take a deep breath and smell the air. I experience peace and calm, with abseloutely no responsiblility or pressure to do anything except enjoy the beauty I find around me. It truly is a beautiful moment.

Friday, January 20, 2006

My Grandmother's Quilts

While I was visiting Winnipeg I spent time with my sister Donna and with my brother Derrick. As is usually the case in such situations, I was loaned the spare bed and some extra blankets to sleep myself and my toddler (isn't he cute?). In and of itself, this is a wholely unsurprising turn of events.

But a cool thing happened. Both of the quilts I was given to sleep on were ones that had been hand made by our grandmother. The quilt to the left belongs to Derrick. The one below and to the right belongs to Donna.

They are not particularly remarkable quilts in any other way. Neither quilt has the kind of complex pattern or artistically chosen colours that would win a quilting contest, or land it in a heritage quilt museum. They would never be pictured in a quilting magazine. They are importatnt to me, however.

It was the memory of these quilts (as the youngest sibling by many years I never received one) that sparked my own interest in quilting. These quilts reach across time. When I slept with them wrapped around me, I felt as if I was wrapped in my grandmother's embrace. Her hands spent hours carefully stitching each square together, and then joining those squares and quilting through all the fabric. She must have thought of each of her grandchildren as she made their quilt, perhaps praying for them as she worked. These quilts contain her time, her prayers and her love.
These quilts also reminded me of something that is important to me right now. I am seeking a new creative outlet, something that is feasable as a stay at home mom to a busy toddler. Quilting is something I can do bit by bit, square by square, stitch by stitch.
I realized, as I looked at these quilts, that my grandmother has her own quirky eye for colour and pattern. You can't see it, but each fabric in Donna's quilt has a different texture. She was not a great artist, but she expressed her creativity every day of her life. She did not feel the pressure to do something that would be placed in a museum. It was enough to simply make something that she thought was nice and servicable. This is the kind of practical creativity that was common in past generations of women. The kind of creativity that I can embrace, and hopefully enjoy.
One day, as each of my children leaves my bed and graduates to their own room, I hope to be able to send a quilt of their own with them. One that they can use and enjoy. Maybe one day they will cherish it, and feel my embrace as they wrap it around them each night.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Not a SINGLE message while I was gone!

Oh well. Stay tuned for the new and improved Life and Times of Jill with PICTURES! Now, all I have to do is load the software that came with my camera and figure out how to use it . . .