A sweater

On Christmas morning, I unwrapped a box, and it was some strange thing that I didn’t understand.  On the front of the box it said the cables captured audio and visual from "sources" and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how that would be relevant to my life really, and I smiled at Ken, and hoped that like with most odd tech things he’s given me  (like this blog) he would explain how I would love it, use it and need it,  and I would grow to wonder how I’d ever lived with any sort of happiness at all without capturing audio and visual from "sources."

A minute later, I remembered that I had told anyone who would listen that if they were looking for a wonderful present for me, they need look no farther than a large pile of VHS tapes upstairs. They’re the home movies from when the girls were little, and if someone could move them from VHS to – whatever makes sense these days… if they could just, like… capture those images and sounds and… all of a sudden I understood.  The cables weren’t the gift.  What Ken was going to do with them was, and I was a little bit overcome. He’s been working on it for the last few days, and on the night of my Mum’s family party I got a preview, and there they were.  My little babies, and I was captivated by them. Perhaps because they’re all so big and so independent now… I mean, my youngest will be a legal adult in a few weeks… all of a sudden all I wanted was for them to be little again.  As I watched those images with my big beautiful girls beside me, it was all I could do to keep myself from trying to pull a 22 year old woman onto my lap,  but I did, and later when I said to Joe that it was such a wonderful time when they were little and he just looked at me like I had lost my mind, I thought maybe I had. 

What the hell does this have to do with a sweater?  I don’t know.  I’m not sure, but I know that in those movies, lots of them, there are sweaters I knit. Amanda’s stomping through the leaves in the park, two years old in a purple cabled sweater  I made her. Fast forward a few video’s and there’s a tiny Megan unwrapping a blue sweater with bunnies on it on Christmas morning … fast forward again and there’s Sam, my last little baby, snuggled down in that same sweater.  Five year old Amanda talking into the camera, her (new) purple sweater tossed on the chesterfield behind her… A pudgy little Meg toddles beside Amanda as she rides her first bike.. a white and fuchsia sweater buttoned over her. Those sweaters suddenly like a bright neon sign to me, a mark on those girls  telling everyone who will ever see it "This child is loved, this child is loved, this child is loved." There was something, something about seeing them wearing those sweaters, that made me very glad that I knit Megan a sweater this year – and that there’s more on the way for her sisters. 

Owls, by Kate Davies, knit out of two skeins of eco-wool.  (I changed the gauge, and lengthened the sweater. I’ll put details on Rav.)

They might be big, and they might not always (hardly ever) be with me where I can keep them safe –

and I might have to work on some acceptance around that, as they head off to school and jobs and life and their own apartments and deciding where they will put coffee mugs in their own cupboards (while I still try to accept that they drink coffee at all.)  And I might still have to find a way to figure out how to stop wondering if they’re okay all the time when I can’t see them… and I know I can’t make them little again, and I guess I don’t really want to (but I do) but I can keep them warm, and make them sweaters, and have them out in the world with that mark on them.  They can pull those sweaters over their heads, and they can know who loves them…

And that look, and these sweaters will be in the movies we make now, and it will mean the same thing as it did when it was that little blue sweater with the bunnies on it.

Happy New Year everyone.  All our best to you as you ride into a new year.
I’ll catch you on the other side.