Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm starting to think rocket science might not be like rocket science

Experience (namely the lack of it) is really the hobgoblin of all life pursuits, isn’t it?

I was thinking about this as I stood at the sewing counter of a local fabric store, asking the ladies what supplies a beginner would need … seeing as how I bought my six-year-old a REAL sewing machine for Christmas … and seeing as how I don’t know the first thing about sewing anything besides replacement buttons (and even then the results aren’t pretty).

I could see from the looks their faces, they thought I was in way over my head.

They offered classes and tried to sell me an $80 sewing kit.

I thanked them and asked them to point me in the direction of thread.

I’ve muddled through before.

Sometimes it’s been mortifying. I’ve been critiqued for the way I’ve dug holes in the garden the way I’ve hammered a nail and even the way I mop floors.

But other times it has been gratifying.

Like the time I stood in the tile aisle at Home Depot, discussing supplies with an equally clueless friend, who was graciously helping me tackle a tiling project, only to have a smirking woman thrust her card in my hand … "just in case your DIY project doesn’t work out."

I didn’t give that woman or her card a second thought until I was standing with my friend outside of our finished job. She’d cut. I’d placed. It wasn’t perfect, but we’d done it ourselves and we’d done it together.

I wasn't thinking about that, though, as I stood at that fabric store, seeking the homemaking wisdom I'd hoped would always escape me.

Sewing, I'd decided, may as well be rocket science.

And yet. Christmas morning came, and the sewing machine made its way to the dinning room table.

The reckoning was at hand.

My mother-in-law asked me if I'd ever sewed before ... I said no and left it there. It was too late now. Whatever happened, happend.

I read and follow the instructions. And surprise of all surprises, soon I had the thing humming along.

By the end of the weekend, Ittybit was rising before dawn and getting projects ready to sew. A purse for her American Girl doll, a pillow for her Barbie, a quilted pillow ... just because ...

Without following a pattern, without measuring or cutting straight lines, we made our own designs.

They weren’t perfect, and yet somehow they were.