Let me share a story...
Maybe it was ten years ago.... My grandfather took my boys down to his basement and asked them if there was anything in the pile of odds and ends that they might want. The pile of odds and ends was the last effects of my great-grandmother's belongings. There wasn't much to interest a little boy but Andrew, about age three found a lap blanket and claimed it at his own. For years and years he hauled that thing everywhere.
Fast forward about seven years later and there is now standing before me a young lad of about ten asking me to repair the tattered blanket, or maybe tattered rag would be a better word. Only the front held together, the back was completely shredded and the batting gone.
"Son, you are too old for blankets." I said, appealing to his manly side in hopes of talking him out of it. I tried to explain that the front part would soon wear out and all our efforts would be in vain... But it was to no avail.
So, I told Andrew that he must do all the work by himself. I hand him the scissors and instruct him to cut all the tattered backing off and if he got it done we'd put it back together.....
In my mind the blanket was just not worth saving. I did not want to mess with it. In the process of using my big heavy scissors, Andy cut a few holes in the front side of the quilt as well... I honestly thought he would just give up and I'd be off the hook. But he didn't. Soon a beaming little boy brought me the front half of his blanket, a little worse for wear because of the snipped holes. I told him that I was busy and would not be able to get to it for a while... I put it in my closet and he ran off to play.
A while indeed...
Fast forward again to Christmas time this year. Shane has taken me shopping at a few shops looking for a music stand for Grace to place her harp music on. I didn't find the music stand but a few other trinkets and as I am checking out the clerk asks if I would like to purchase an "earth bag" you know, the cloth bags that replace plastic. She goes on to explain they were 99 cents and every time you brought it back in 2010 for shopping, you would get 10% off your total purchase. There is a sucker born every minute.
I didn't even look at the bag until I was in the truck on my way home. On the side of the bag was printed...You have the right to ditch the kids, and shop until you're sane again..... I was appalled. In my smug, snobish, attitude I quote "a child left to himself, bringeth his mother to shame.." I decided the next time I made it to town I would return the bag and tell them what I thought of their little snappy comment... until then I chucked it in my closet, and guess where it landed?
Yep, right on top of Andy's unfinished quilt. I tried to shut the closet door but there it sat. I tried to whine that I had just been too busy... But it rang hollow. Sure I'm busy, and much of my busy-ness is centered around them. But to not have time to finish a tiny lap quilt? Especially when it was so important to him? My mind raced as I thought of the wonderful old woman who not only stitched this quilt the first time but raised eleven children with more grace and patience than I will ever posses. I was without excuse. On this blog are hundreds of words, on the web thousands of sites, on my shelf many books... truth be told I have plenty of time for what I want to do.... truth be told I had ditched my son.
I was no longer the smug woman looking down her nose at others but looking down my nose at a pile of rags that seemed to ask "If I am not worth it, is he?" Needless to say the quilt is now finished. Years of waiting were finalized as soon as I got the tears out of my eyes.
It was a hard haul. lots and lots of time repairing and restitching. Lots of time for self reflection. True self reflection is often painful for me. I, however, need my vision renewed at times and I am grateful when those opportunities come. I offered the blanket to Andrew with an apology for taking so long. He snatched it out of my hand, thanking me all the while. And he never even used the word "finally."
He came to me a short time later, however, asking why the snip marks were all repaired in black? I smile, and reply " I hope they don't bother you son, but your momma needs to be able to see them okay?" "Sure mom!" and off he ran. I have given myself a visual reminder. And in my closet will forever hang one nasty little lying bag that will never earn me a discount at the store because it is worth far more right where it is at.