Saturday, March 10, 2012

Meeting where they are

Today my three girls are making things. Here at home we are surrounded by the cloth, thread, needles, and notions of creating things by hand. We are busy, quiet except for the occasional "Ouch!" as a needle meets a finger, or "Help, Mama!" as a thread comes to an end and needs tying off. And here, watching the girls work and play, I am struck by the fact that they are all doing the same things, but they meet the task where they are in their own development: Ella, at 9 years old, is busy embroidering am intricate picture onto a piece of white muslin. Lucy, at 4, works hard to create a wild abstract masterpiece of stitches on her muslin, learning to make stitches and use a sharp needle, to hold an embroidery hoop and to not sew through the extra cloth hanging from it's edges. Tessa, 17 months, plays with the snipped off bits of cloth and thread on the table, piling the scraps and thread into little piles, patting them, taking them apart, and piling them again. All of them are happy to work with the bits and pieces, but in their own time, their own ways.

And me? I have been sewing this week too. Perhaps that is why they asked to sew today, having seen me at the sewing machine. The dress on Tessa was made in less than an hour yesterday. A skirt and another dress were made last week. The girls are fascinated by my box of cloth... which piece will turn into a summer dress? Which piece a hat? Amid all the other things I should be doing (making sets for The Firebird ballet, working at my actual Pinkletink Baby work, house work, etc... the list is endless!), I am creating the kids summer wardrobe. I look at it as creating our summer photos, creating the look of our days. And what to create next? A drawing, a painting, a dress, a new baby carrier design for work, a ballet set... the creative possibilities are many.

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