stitch by stitch

Yesterday at Homeschool Sports a new mama took me in to talk to. I am gradually getting to know these parents one at a time. I’m in no hurry as I’m not particularly needy for friends right now. Anyway, I’d noticed this woman before but she always seemed engrossed in conversation with other mothers.  In case you’re not a lady, I might point out that in social scenarios it’s easy to get one’s feelings hurt if you aren’t embraced into the fold – to wonder if people are clique-ing and clustering up and eschewing you.  Day two of sitting on the bleachers with everyone else talking and you away alone and you start to think they all hate you, or judge you, or are happier and more well-adjusted than you, or bitchier and narrow-minded, or whatever.

And it’s almost always just not true. Case in point: I’m the only non-Christian lifestyle parent at this function – as far as I know – and definitely the only woman with tacky hair and the proclivity to say words like “cock” (often).  More relevant or close to my heart (okay, “cock” is pretty close to my heart, but still) I believe (could be wrong) I’m also the only matriarch shrugging at “traditional” homeschooling whilst fully embracing self-directed learning. And don’t get me wrong, at times these can feel like huge differences.  I could choose to feel like an outcast or all Special Snowflake or Different.  But that’s not my style.  I know I’m not any more special than these ladies; they may church-talk like no one’s business and wear classy yet understated fashion but they are not the Borg and I am not all misunderstood and awesomely weird and “So-Called Life” Different. We’re all mothers, women, people and the only way we can know what we have in common (more than we might like to admit) is to talk to one another.

I think I asked this woman A. a question – I can’t remember what question exactly – but I’m glad I did because she was one of those people with a lot of experiences and opinions – on a variety of subjects.  In fact A. talked so much and jumped from subject to subject so rapidly as to make me look positively inarticulate and wallflower-y. Within a few sentences she asked me if I was a Christian. I can’t remember exactly what I said (I should have bellowed out, “Ma’am I am tonight!”) but within the next few minutes she, a Biblical fundamentalist, was talking about the difference between her and other Biblical fundamentalist who are too fundamentalisty, more Bible-exacting (long skirts, long hair worn up, no mainstream music) and too… something.  I felt a little jet-lag as I was thrust into the conversation of fringe Christian, which although disconcerting at times interestingly enough has a lot in common with my own views (namely, a fierce defense of family and the position that our children are not primarily the State’s children).  A. was mother to seven children, the oldest being 20 and the youngest looking about 2.  She was a veteran homeschooler and a passionate person.  I like passionate people.  I was glad to talk with her.  The little homeschooling group has been a much-looked-forward-to date during my week.

I’ve been more or less sucessfully hand-sewing.  It’s different than machine sewing; mostly in that I can sit in the living room instead of in my sewing studio. During the day my work seems to calm the children.  They like having me there.  My latest project was an armchair pincushion, mad practical:

Alabama Chanin Pincushion

Alabama Chanin Pincushion, Close-Up

The entire time I was trying to take a picture of the above, the Love-Cat kept getting in the way. Wanting Love. More Love. There is never enough Love for her. Unless there’s Food. Then she wants that more. When she’s done with that? Back to Love.

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