Knitting for Dummies, by Pam Allen, Tracy Barr, and Shannon Okey, is my lifeline! It breaks down knitting to its simplest - keeping me out of trouble when that project has presented a new challenge. It is also the perfect accompaniment and teacher in learning new skills and tricks of the trade. What would I do without it? While not every problem in life or in parenting is as easily solved as the challenges we face in knitting, through this craft, I have managed to learn a lot about myself as a human being and as a parent. I hope I can share these experiences with you, and in turn, we can spend some time together learning from each other...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good luck to you!

Luck is a funny thing.  Dictionary.com defines "luck" as the force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person's life, as in shaping circumstances, events, or opportunities.  We often wish "good luck" to people in many of their endeavors - unless you are in the theatre where wishing someone "good luck" is actually "bad luck".

Some months ago, I was engaged in a conversation with P's violin teacher, Miss Marion (¡hola!) when she shared her views about "talent" and whether a child has talent or not.  As a teacher - and this is one of the many reasons I love her to death, she believes that with hard work everyone has talent.  In other words, it is not really about having something magical, but really about how hard you work to get something done.  Since then, I have thought a lot about that paradigm quite a bit, and this month, as the "luck of the Irish" came around, I pondered on whether the same is true for "luck".

Coming from my Hispanic, Catholic background, I heard a lot of "that was God" whenever something good or bad happened.  Was that mami's view and expression on "luck"?  Early in my relationship with my first partner and P's daddy, I must have channeled my mami as I said in an auto-pilot moment, "that was God" to something "bad but funny" that had just happened to him.  His response which to this day I still think of as priceless was, "My God is not a punishing God.  My God is a loving God."  Hmmmm, good point, mine is too.  From then on, the phrase changed a little: "it's karma". 

Can we really account for all the good and bad things that happen in our lives to pure luck?  I do feel lucky that I have a support system in family and friends that nurture me, make me feel loved, and have my back daily.  Is it because of luck?  I suppose that I didn't choose my family, so one could consider this to be luck.  But as I look at my relationships with my siblings, my mom, cousins, aunts, and uncles, we have all had our ups and downs.  (In some cases, we still have some downs.)  And still, I treasure all of them.  In every case, there is an enormous amount of work that has been put forth (or perhaps that will be needed in the future) to keep those relationships alive and well.  And as I look at my "chosen" family, my friends, I also look at a lot of work in nurturing and keeping those relationships healthy.  I could think of it as luck... but to me, it's  daily work.

On parenting...

My son works so hard at so many things.  Yes, he is still a kid and from time to time, he wanders, or slacks a tad.  Without guidance, his bed would probably go unmade and his room undone for his entire life.  Nonetheless, it is fun and very interesting as his papa to see him "at work" whether it be homework, violin, a sport, or simply at the dinner table as his wheels turn right before a question or right before the answer to an interesting question.  It is even more fulfilling to see him reap the fruits of his hard work after a recital or when he gets a paper back.  It is also as rewarding to discuss the lessons learned from mishaps or failures and ponder how to change the work around that to change the outcome.

I share this because I am not sure how I feel about teaching him the lesson on "luck".  Will his hard work be for nothing if he doesn't have luck on his side?  Should he slack in the hopes of having luck be kind to him?

Funnily, he uses the phrase "you are so lucky" often, and more and more I have noticed myself explaining the rationale behind what happened as hard work.

Am I killing the magic of luck?  What am I missing?

I wonder...

On Adam...

For the longest time, my son has been asking for a pair of fingerless gloves.  After my recent bout of singleitis - resolved by my (now Don D's) Pinky Swear mittens, I have attempted to find a good pattern for these.  For those knitters out there reading, I attemped the Knucks a couple of times, and somehow, I was a bit unhappy about how they kept turning out.  So, I kept researching.

After some time, I sillily realized that I had all the skills to do my own pattern.  What luck!  Not really... I had just researched enough to land back in Pinky Swear land...

These gloves start at the cuff, and I like a long cuff to bridge the gap between my shirt/jacket cuffs and my hands.  These are 2.5" long in a 2X2 rib.  Like with Pinky Swear, I detailed the outside edge of each glove with a simple four-stitch cable which runs through and ends with the pinky finger.

I kept the body of the glove snug as to avoid the bulk.  After passing the thumb and reaching the end of the palm, I increased the width slightly to provide enough stitches for the fingers.

I love how these turned out and I love how the look and feel.  The yarn... I chose a heathered green reminiscent of the Midwest green grass about to sprout, but also as a nod to the green clovers, and the green hills of the Irish countryside, and an acknowledgement that on March 17th, we are all Irish, and by default, we are all... lucky.  ;)e-

Enough kind words cannot be said about my good friend, Eric S.  He is a trooper and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for his generosity.  I feel fortunate to have him (and Bucky) in my life.  :)e-