Last February, This December


I set up my sewing machine in February and tried to surround myself with familiar things and familiar feelings. Making things is a familiar feeling and I felt as though the creative part of my brain was atrophying at an alarming speed. My body, too. "If you don't use it, you lose it" and I had been using neither head nor feet in ways that felt significant. It was all emotional response and knee-jerk reaction. One of our children was having an increasingly difficult time controlling his impulses at home. I was worried that one day someone was going to tell us that it was what it looked like and I was (and still am) unprepared for any kind of diagnosis that fell outside "passing stage". I was knee deep in school stuff (again) and volunteering and advocating and feeling like things could probably only get better for our family and our community. I was wrong, of course, I usually am. The house was revealing its quirks. The world continued to rage with terrifyingly predictable injustice. Sewing helped, though, and what was more, buying things to aid with the sewing helped even more.

I listened to podcasts and sewed and ignored the laundry and dinner prep. I said awkward things to people that I care about and I worked to expand my circle and understand things that I previously had not paid much attention to. I adopted "I don't know" as a completely legitimate response to people asking for my opinion or curious to know about "our plan" now that we were parenting children that we had no claim to. In fact, "I don't know" became such a prominent and unsatisfactory part of my repertoire that it morphed into "to be honest, here's what I think I know, but I'm probably wrong". I bought tickets to take the big boys home for the summer.

Yesterday, I found a large bin of fabric that had wedged under the basement stairs. If we were living in a fairy tale village this would qualify as "the magical cupboard beneath the stairs". As we are now living in an era where a racist, con man and failed real estate agent can become President, it is just a closet no one wants to mess with filled with things we should probably not hold onto. The bin is the last of the things to be unpacked from the move. I opened it up I laughed because there were ALL THE THINGS I had been scratching my head looking for. The stuff in this particular bin had not been seen since before we emptied our previous house into storage containers to make it "look like fewer people live here". And with ALL THE THINGS were a bunch of things that I had forgotten I owned and well– if I sewed every day for hours for the next year, I would still be hard pressed to get through all the stacks. I need to work on clearing it all out and moving forward and making a plan. I'm going to hold on to the "I don't knows" because they are serving me well and frankly, people have fewer opinions about the whole situation by taking this route.

Today, the kids have a Snow Day and have spent the afternoon rolling around in the 1/2 inch the skies afforded. The oldest complained about the cold and the youngest had to be dragged in. It's raining ice now and I'm going to go fold laundry, find a place for the fabric still sitting in the middle of the living room, and put most of those things I don't know on hold until tomorrow.


  1. Ouch, you honesty about your situation in life sounds painful. Things will be, but they will not necessarily be better. I hope for you that they will be at least bearable for a while and that the found fabric becomes a source of joy. Love with all your heart, because it is necessary right now.


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