Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bang, Sew, Let Go

I went to a very small church school for elementary school.  We had ten kids in our class and that was the largest class in the school.  Since we were too small to have a band and there was a church-based boarding high school next door (also very small for a high school) the seventh and eighth graders were allowed to join the high school band.

I wanted to play percussion.

My mom wanted me to play the clarinet.  She had played the clarinet.  She still had her clarinet. She didn't like percussion. I think there was an argument or two about percussion not being musical,  although I had been playing the piano since second grade.  

So I played the clarinet for awhile.  I hated it.  There was nothing about playing the clarinet that I enjoyed.  

I wanted to play percussion.

She said no.  

Finally we "compromised"  and I tried the flute.   There was even a flute teacher in there somewhere.   I did not like playing the flute. 

I wanted to play percussion.

Finally I did.  I was in band, as a percussionist in high school and college.

I loved it.  I played all the keyboard type instruments like bells and  xylophone.  I played timpani and all the other fun stuff.

A couple of months ago my mom was visiting and I got this crazy idea in my head that I could make a baby quilt for my pregnant niece in the few days that my mom was here.   Then she could take it to the baby shower.  We bought the fabric and I got busy. 

Of course I'm still not done with the quilt and the baby was born a week ago.  I'm close.  I'm machine quilting it and hoping to finish this weekend.

The thing that is taking a bit of the joy out of it for me is that my mom keeps calling me and asking if the quilt is done.  No.  No it is not done.  These things take time and I have, oddly enough, decided to work, take care of the kids, clean, do laundry, etc. etc. etc.  instead of quilting.

Really it's not a quilt for newborns only.  It's a baby quilt.  A toddler quilt.  A five year old quilt.  I'm hoping a "I love this quilt so much even though I'm to old for it I still like to have it around" quilt and for my niece an "Wow, my aunt went to all this trouble to make this quilt for my baby she must really care about me even though we never see her" quilt.

My mom's at my brother's helping with the baby (my niece is 17).  Yes, I wish I had that quilt done, but I'm not going to freak out about it.  It's a quilt --nice, but not something the baby  has to have immediately.

Yesterday my mom called and left a voicemail.  "Just wondering if you mailed the stuff I left at your house and wondered how the quilt's coming along."

Ugh.  I'm not sure how the two are related -- the percussion and the quilt.  It feels like they are.  All these years of her having specific expectations and ideas of who I should be and what I should do and me pushing against her and doing my thing in my time and trying trying trying to not carry all the baggage with me.  To just put some of the baggage down and let go of her expectations.


6 comments:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I could see thinking it's related. Maybe you were meant to make the quilt just so you could process this and figure some things out.

ella said...

I hear ya.
I'm 44 years old and i'm still lying to my mother just cause I don't want to deal with hearing what she thinks about it.

If I have a problem and confess it to her---it never dies...unless I fix it according to her methods. It's exhausting.

I want to confide in her, vent etc. but in the long run, it creates more stress.

Jennifer said...

I'm not sure we're ever done being our parents' children, but maybe getting to be the cool, thoughtful aunt and great aunt for the ones that come after...maybe that makes up for it a little.

Also? It's time to get your boys a drum set and invite your mom for a visit.

Lori said...

Hey, I began a very tedious quilt for my son when he was a baby and never finished. That was 20 YEARS ago and the partially finished quilt has been through 4 moves and is STILL close at hand for the moment I'm feeling inspired again.

annie said...

Ugh - my mom likes to call and start the conversation with "I have a great idea". It usually ends with me painting one of girls' bedrooms or remodeling the house. Yeah, not gonna happen. Good luck with the quilt! If all else fails make it a high school graduation present :-)

V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios said...

It wasn't until my mom was gone that I recognized all the unresolved frustrations I had with her growing up, especially as a teenager. I was the quintessential good girl and overachiever, and while I knew on one level she was proud of me, I could also feel her ambivalence about my ambitions and choices. She and my dad did not encourage me to want more, be more, aim high, and while they didn't block my achievements, they didn't make any effort to nurture them. (I was an excellent student, won awards, participated in sports and public speaking and other stuff. My parents never showed up at ANY school event until I was graduating and giving the valedictorian address. Now that I'm a parent myself, it *really* strikes me how wrong that was, how much I was on my own.)