Friday, October 31, 2008

Passing it on

grace finds beauty in everything
grace makes beauty out of ugly things
grace finds goodness in everything

--lyrics from "Grace" by U2

My camera went fishing today. With my husband. This sharing the camera thing will get difficult if I keep taking more pictures and he keeps going fishing more and more often. Nice friends have even offered to let me borrow, but the going without is good for me. Gives me more incentive to keep working hard to get the one I really want.

But that's not really what I want to get sidetracked on today. I really want to talk about some time I spent a few days ago teaching my 11 year old niece to knit. I had taught her almost 2 years ago at Christmas and of course she picked it up in all of 5 minutes. But then her little brother destroyed her project, lost her yarn and even broke her bamboo needles.

So by chance, she came to church with me while the younger ones were in choir and we sat together in the tiny church library learning and teaching all over again. I shared some of my brilliant knitting wisdom like how I think it's so cool that knitting, no matter what shape you make it into is really just one...long...string. And we both agreed that mistakes are some of the best teachers in life. This of course was something she already knew. So wise at 11.

I fumbled a bit, coming up with conversation topics. My kids are younger and while I know what to talk to my own about (because as a parent I think you kind of "grow" with them), I had to jump ahead a few years, or back many, many years depending on how you look at it. So we rambled about Nintendo DS and should John get one for Christmas (much to his parents shagrin), whether or not she wants a cell phone (that was a yes), whether or not she's going to get one (that was a no), and some rough spots she's going through now, hoping to get her talking about it. I think it worked. Surprisingly, we left out boy talk, but there will be plenty of time for that later.

We ended the night with her wanting to borrow my yarn and needles, but of course I needed them for my hats and I promised to drop by some more yarn and different needles she could keep the next day. I did. I left a note offering to sit with her again next week and gave her my email address should she run into trouble, either the knitting or little brother variety, whichever. A few hours later she emailed, said she'd messed the whole thing up and could we fix it next Wednesday. I wrote back that it was no problem, I'd love to help her and that I was glad she had the courage to try it on her own.

This may seem simple and mundane to some, but to me it's a big step. Hoping to become the aunt I want to be, the one I never had but always wished I did. And if knitting's involved, well, all the better, I'd love to pass it on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yay for you and her. Of all the time spent and other things my grandmother did for me, the one I'm most grateful for is her teaching me to knit. Your niece will always treasure you for this.