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...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring's Sprung

If we go by what has happened historically, it feels as if spring in Cincinnati is practically non-existent;  we go from the cold of winter to the heat of summer with a day or two of spring in between.  Trees do go into full bloom and all, but temperature-wise, things just don’t compute in these logical brains of ours.  At least around me, it feels as if we have all lowered our expectations around spring, hope to see spring, or even begin to remember what the season would/should feel like.  Ironically, this year, it feels as if spring has finally come to us (or sprung, if you’ll allow me) with the beautiful blooms, the crisp cool weather, and some of those showers that bring flowers.  We are waking up to the birds chirping, and it finally feels like spring… you know, it feels like summer is trying to make its way but continues to play tug of war with winter.  Spring has finally lasted more than just a couple of days, but many of us still don’t seem to understand that this is spring.

But we are not all unappreciative of the beauty this spring has brought.  A couple of weeks back, I was reading my Facebook posts and I caught one from my beautiful friend, Rebeca, commenting on a series of conversations she had had with her son, Marcus, over the period of a week.  The post read, “Marcus and I have studied the subject during the drive to school for a whole week and have decided that the best adjective to describe a cherry tree, in a perfect bloom, is ‘frothy.’”  I loved everything about that post.  I imagined the conversation between the two – having witnessed their interactions often – and the tone of it.  I imagined their agreement and their awe-inspiring realization that “frothy” was indeed the perfect adjective for a cherry tree in full bloom.  The epitome of spring.  I loved everything about that interaction and I loved that post.

With this spring so many things have come to bloom!

Through this blog, I have shared the beauty and the challenges of raising a child – my child – in this world.  There have been many highs and lows.  I have always been so proud of him and love him to the moon and back.  And… we still struggle.  (Isn’t that the human condition?)  This month, with spring, came a bit of a change.  Jon and I went back to monitoring P’s work a little more, but with a little more leeway to allow him space and time to grow, or as his teachers and counselors put it, “allow him the opportunity to develop ownership of the process.”  (I think I’m paraphrasing that statement.)  Pablo seems to be doing better with school and I hope that in this great arc of being a teenager,  this is not a blip on the radar, but a gradual maturing of my son into his own space.

Speaking of maturing, with this spring, my son also experienced his first shave, the continued interest in friends, “hanging out”, and a spring dance with tons of dancing, screaming, and joy!  Yikes.  What is happening?  I’m happy for him and this new world he faces… and still go back to the baby I cradled - missing him sometimes.

The ocean floor is vast...

On a personal note, this spring, I started my new professional adventure:  a new job with an amazing company.   Every day, I am reminded that I made the right move leaving the comfort of my old job to explore the world with this new one.  Many years ago, a coach of mine shared the allegory of a little crustacean which had outgrown its shell at the bottom of the ocean floor and had to make a decision.  “Do I stay here and die from outgrowing the space or do I risk my life to crawl out – unprotected – on the bottom of this ocean floor to find a new, bigger home?”  If nature kicks in, the crustacean leaves its shell and risks its life for the sake of survival.  Can you imagine how scary it is to know that at any point in time, you can be “taken out” by a higher life in the ocean?  Leaving a company for which you have worked for 18 years, and going to a new one is pretty much like walking that ocean floor unprotected.  I know that I have found a new home, but until I have gotten my sea legs (still continuing with this ocean theme), I will continue to feel … well… unprotected.  And that’s okay, I think.

Our world around us continues to grow and change.  We all continue to change.

Bloomin’ Trails

Last fall, my sister and I were walking the streets of NYC.  On a window display in Rockefeller Center, I saw a very simple ribbed cowl.  I have no idea what it was about that cowl that caught my eye.  Because spring is so elusive, fall is probably my favorite season, and that cowl said, “fall”!  However, it took me all winter to imagine what that cowl really meant to me.  In an exaggerated fashion, I wanted something big and bulky, cozy, and inspiring.  So, I went to work with one of my favorite yarns:  Burly Spun.  I went to my most favorite thing to do in knitting:  cables.  And I designed an enormous rectangle with braids and cables that in the end would zip up (with a double-ended zipper).

The cable pattern is a simple intertwine of my relationships with all my loved ones overlapping and crossing back and forth.   The braids on either side frame the journey and feel like the guardrails of life.  Even in the field, we have time and space to play, but we are all moving toward something, a future.

I remember the day I finished the work, but most importantly, the day that the knitted piece came back from the tailor – I asked my tailor to put in the zipper for me.  When I put it on, I felt spring had sprung.  It felt as if a series of experiences had bloomed in the “space” of the cowl. 

I realize that there have been many sad things happening around us.  I leave you with my wish that each of us uses this time of change for renewal, to celebrate the good things that have happened, and to hope for better things yet to come.  Spring has sprung and I hope our hearts do, too.  :)e-

A big thank you to Demirus who so elegantly and naturally played with the ideas we presented and with such fun made this photo shoot and the "product" such a beauty.  :)e-