Let me preface this particular sound byte for today. Our oldest has not lived with us in four years so it’s a bit of an adjustment again. I forget she is an adult. She forgets we are her parents and that she has siblings.
Overall, it’s been amazing to have her here and spend time with her but occasionally, there are….well, moments.
She is currently trying to sew her own bathing suits as one of her leisure pursuits in the Jungle:
She held up a little bikini bottom that she designed, fully lined, and held It up to show me.
Me: Oh amazing! Is that for Dad?
Her: I hate you.
Me: LOL. (Me actually saying “L-O-L”)
Cue collective eye roll from ALL the kids and my eldest taking a deep breath and because I can psychically hack my kids, I can hear her thoughts:
“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”
The homeschool win comes from seeing the results of the things that I introduced to them as part of our “homeschool.” Sewing was one of them. When I learned to sew, I wanted to save money. If I learned, I knew that I could make costumes and make clothes for growing children of a big family. I could make gifts and even clothes for myself when I couldn’t shop for a new wardrobe because wearing those Lululemon yoga pants with the spit-up/some-brown-I didn’t-even-want-to-know-stains “mom” uniform was going to push me over the edge.
I took advantage of cheap pillow cases and curtains at the secondhand store and channeled my inner Fraulein Maria. Necessity is truly the mother of invention. The sewing machine was out all the time. Using fabric that a good friend donated to me, I made quilts for each of the kids and quilts as gifts. We made our own stuffed animals and pencil cases and bags.
This was the very first piece I made at a sewing class with Barb and where I cherished every Tuesday night hanging with my sewing friends – Nancy and Agnes:
If the kids wanted to buy something made of fabric – a bag, an apron, a piece of clothing – I would always say, “We can make it.” They would sigh because they wanted the item “now” but it would take a little time for me to make it but they knew that I would. And I did. Always. (Sometimes it took me two weeks and sometimes two months.)
And when we first pulled our eldest out of school when she was 11, she spent the entire year making a Quilt…
And it was painstaking and she wanted to quit after it took her weeks to cut the pieces out. But WE persisted. I sat and helped. And then she sewed piece by piece. Her own labour of love.
So when she asked to message my friend to borrow her machine, I was immediately grateful for persisting myself – learning how to sew and sitting at the machine at the end of the dining table ripping seam after seam when I got it wrong, piling up the projects, and wanting to quit myself and just buy them that stupid plastic pencil case.
Homeschooling is like that quilt. It’s a patchwork thing. It’s a collection of pieces and sometimes it doesn’t fit perfectly or even look good. Sometimes there is a pattern and sometimes you wing it and use what you have and you know that it’s a slow, creative endeavor. You take it stitch by stitch trusting in the end that it will be the most beautiful and comforting blanket simply for the fact that it was made by YOU.