It's that time of year again, when I get my existential crisis on.... don't know why December keeps dogging me. Ain't this the time of year when you're supposed to NOT be existential crisis-ing? Oh wait, you are... as so many Christmas movies have retold the Dickens story and the like over and over in different versions... but mine doesn't seem to end with little mice with red-and-white striped scarves tap-dancing on the fireplace, or if it does I'm still waiting....
I am really looking forward to 1) emerging from the murk of my spitirual quagmire and 2) a chill post-holidays week with Matt around just cleaning, making things, reading, playing, stuff like that. Regular life with an extra parent around.... just nice. And I'm sure I will reap the benefit of sifting through the mud and sticks and rocks and boots, tires etc. at the bottom of my own personal river bed.... cleaning it up a bit. Can't say I won't be happy when the water returns and I don't have to see it all quite so clearly, but it's good to do.
Here's one project I worked on yesterday that I was so happy about. I got this bed frame at a thrift shop and have been planning for many months to trick it out. Finally did it all yesterday. I cut a piece of plywood to fit it and made this little mattress, sheet, pillow, and blanket. I listened to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack and did all this while Matt and the kids were out on an extended walkabout.... I don't think it can really get any better than that, do you?
I was mainly happy because I'm not really a whiz at the sewing machine at all and I am usually kind of loathe to take it out and set it up because the smallest project will usually turn into a minor drama of trying to get the machine to work or trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong. In making the blanket I felt I had jumped a significant hurdle... the project proceeded smoothly and came together easily, with no agonizing troubleshooting. I feel like that lately with some of the carpentry and tinkering stuff that I'm doing... as some of you may know, I'm not at all a whiz with that stuff either, but am simply learning as I go along, figuring stuff out so that I can do it with kids or for myself. Lately I feel I have more of a grasp on certain tools and materials and the things I want to make come together more easily. It feels very good to have a sense of mastery, however basic, after much floundering. My mom was really good at math and she always pushed us into advanced math classes. We hated math and she later said she realized that she had trouble helping us with it because it came so easily to her. I often think of that story and about how, though sometimes I kick myself for my ill-spent youth and how I could have spent the last 10 years if not more studying tinkering-related things so that I could be coming to this all with such a wealth of experience and knowledge, maybe I am better suited to it all precisely because I am so freshly aware of what it is like to learn all this for the first time.
Anyway, the bed:
And you do know the trouble with nice hand-made stuff you make your kids, right? My God, I know, again with the Soulemama, but how can she make all that sweet stuff for her kids (socks? I would die! They take forever to knit, and then they are lost, sweated-upon, ruined!) and oh, they just love it all so much? I make stuff for my kids sometimes and then they just fight over the happy meal toy I bought to placate them at Savers. Henny has played with this bed for all of about 2 seconds. When I try to tempt her over to play with it more she puts her baby to bed and that's the end. Methinks she needs some little girls to come over and play babies with her.
Before the boys tear it apart for kindling or decimate it with one well-placed leap, which is what I'm pretty sure is going to happen to it. Oh well, I had fun making it, and it was a sweet 2 seconds.