Labor of Love…achieved.

I wrote about it just a few weeks ago. 26 years in the making…And…it’s finally finished! And my daughter is still 7, not 18!

I almost can’t believe it. It has been an incomplete part of my life, for 2/3 of my life. Always needing to be worked on. Always hanging over me as something left to be done. The project that might never be. A idea that may never be realized. An enterprise never to be accomplished.

But it IS finished. It’s not without flaws, with its very pinkness (a choice of my early teens), its imperfectly patched holes (after sudden, horrifying, and heartbreaking unraveling), and its awkwardly snaking periphery. But those unintentionally wavy edges and every stitch in between holds history embedded inside them. Each knot marking out the passing of time.

Run you fingers over the beginning white section, now dulled by time, and you’ll feel the needlework of an insecure 14 year old struggling to fit in. The hands of a 17 year old girl, who found a boy whom she would later marry, crocheted the next several rows. Still more stitches were looped and linked together by a young woman, excited to start her career in music education. A new bride beginning her life with her now husband changed more yarn into blanket. A mama to be moved her needle over more rows. Others stitches were created by the exhausted mommy of one while working full time. Touch the middle knots and feel the work of the fingers of a mama who held her daughter inside her belly.

Then the blanket lay dormant for a while, as it watched us live out our little life. I had decided I would not finish it. I had decided I wanted to just move on to something new. I had decided I wanted new colors that I had picked now, not as a kid.

But…my now 7 year old little girl asked me to give the blanket a second chance (or really a fourth or fifth chance) and breathed new life into it.

And so this labor of love, and work of more than half of a lifetime, received its final stitch from the hands of a mother of 2 kids and a cat. A wife. A daughter. A sister. A friend. A singer. A teacher. A connoisseur of vanilla creme donuts and red beans and rice. A fanatic of The Vampire Diaries and Grey’s Anatomy. A lover of dancing, reading, walking outside, watching TV, and crocheting. She completed it. I completed it.

I cannot contain my excitement and pride over finally, FINALLY finishing this blanket! I’m overjoyed that I can share it with my daughter. She was so surprised and happy to see it. I told her, I may not have known it back then when I was only 14, but it was fated to be hers, even before I knew her. She got teary eyed, as did I.

And now the blanket rests on her reading chair in her room. It has already kept me warm and cozy during our bedtime stories and will for years to come.

Mommy, can you blog about this? A worm’s salvation.

The door is thrust open and scampering footsteps bound closer and louder until they arrive at my side. “Mommy, can you blog about this??”

My 7.5 year old daughter precedes to tell me the story of her kindness towards a worm that her and her brother found struggling for life in the middle of our driveway after a rainstorm. His home, mere feet for you and I, but at least a day’s journey for his small, frail, withering body.

And a dangerous journey it would be. One fraught with hungry spring birds and other animals looking for a morning snack. And as the sun begins to spill over the peak of the house and cast its deadly rays onto the blacktop, I can imagine the horrified screams as the line between light and dark creeps little by little towards him, and his certain, crispy death. He stands no chance.

But he has my daughter. His hero. His champion. My animal loving daughter who wears her heart on her sleeve for all living things. She gingerly places him in her petite little hand (with no hesitation, despite going through a short phase where she didn’t want to touch them anymore) and offers him a short respite in a nearby puddle. He immediately finds relief as he begins to wriggle around to show his gratitude. After a moment, she returns him to her tender palm and gently walks him to a dirt filled area to set him free. He takes a moment, perhaps so say thank you, but then squirms his way across the earth and buries his head into the soil. I can only guess his state of bliss and extreme relief as he returns to his home.

And my daughter is responsible for it all. She gave that little worm his life back. She can’t save them all, but she will always try. Keep saving those worms little one.

Impromptu Fireworks

Her sweet breath on my face.

Her soft, warm cheek against mine.

Her small voice describing each sight. “I like the raining ones. And the exploding ones! Not so much the shaped ones. Oo! Christmas colors!”

The impromptu fireworks continue to shimmer in the sky just over the trees in our front yard.

My arms and back began to ache from the weight of her growing 7.5 year old frame. But I push through the pain to keep the magical moment going as long as I can.

I turn around and witness the same magic happening with my 10.5 year old son on my husband’s hip. Two kids too big to be carried this way, yearning to be held like babes just a little longer. As if this special moment could stop time for a bit, to let their childhoods stretch just a little further.

So there we stood. Our little family of 4. Two giant kids in their parents arms. Watching the glimmering and sparkling light show, as if it were just for us. Just for our family so we could have that special time we needed.

(We live near a golf club and they do fireworks for weddings sometimes. Before covid, we would see fireworks at least once a week. Since covid, this is only the 2nd time we’ve seen them)