Tuesday, July 07, 2015

In which my mother earns her sainthood

A couple of weeks ago, a good family friend who is a sort of honorary grandmother to my children, took H. on a lunch date. Afterwards, they went to the book store where she let H. pick out some cross stich pattern magazines and then they sat in the cafe where she started to teach H. to cross stitch. H. loved it. I knew she would based on how much she loved doing our embroidery project when we learned about the Bayeux Tapestry during the school year.

Now, before I can brag about my mother, I need to confess to my bad-mom failings. H. loves to embroider and do needle work. She actually does a pretty decent job, but does need some consistent support to make the whole project work. (Both those statements are actually true for L., as well, and the same confession can go for her, too.) I mean to set aside some time regularly to help H. with this, but I just haven't. I really am not a terribly patient person, and working with younger people doing hand work, is, well, let's just say it can be personally stretching for me. So I avoid it. Sad, but true.

That sets the stage for my mother, the saint's entrance. They have been visiting and my mother does really excellent hand work, particularly counted cross stitch. (She is the one who made our family's Christmas stockings.) She is also far more patient than I am. (And if she's not, she puts on a pretty good show.) Well, H. brings down all her cross stitch supplies that our friend had bought her to show to her grandmother. One thing led to another and all of that ended up with H. cross stitching for a very good chunk of the day yesterday. She has a little house that she is making and it looks quite nice.

And it's due in a large part to my mother that she had sewn as much of it as she had. My mother threaded needles, helped H. find where they were in the pattern, helped count how many stitches to do, undid the stitching when H. did too many, rethreaded needles, did more counting, did more unstitching. For hours. And hours.

As the day progressed, we finally had to tell H., who was not ready to quit, that we thought her brain was getting a bit tired and it was time to stop. H. was tireless, even though she was starting to make more errors than when they first started. You could just see her brain getting fatigued. First thing this morning, H. had her cross stitch supplies out and ready, and my mom tried to work with her a bit, but I think the marathon yesterday was taking its toll, as H. wasn't working as easily. Once again, we had to tell her that it was best to choose a different activity to work on.

My parents leave tomorrow, which means H.'s sewing aide goes home. I think what I'll have to do is schedule a 20-30 minute session time each day so she can keep doing what she loves... and neither of us gets too fatigued.

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