Bill and I don’t have children, but kind friends have produced kids we love dearly. The door frame in my studio is where we mark their heights when they come to visit. There’s a new mark on the door frame because the 7-year-old who is a very good speller was here for the weekend making holiday gifts with me, her mom and her aunt.
When her oldest brother was this one’s age, they still lived nearby. Sometimes the boys would spend a day with me when school was closed. On one of those days, we got out some Dye-na-Flow and silk scarf blanks from Dharma Trading Company and the boys made gifts. This time, their little sister got to paint silk scarves. And she colored another cotton bandana with FabricMate markers, like we did last summer when they were here canoeing. She made another gift, too, but that one’s a secret until after Christmas.
What really tugs at my heartstrings is the pink pig she’s embroidering on a dish towel. Her mom stretched stamped fabric on a hoop and helped her get started, but leaves her alone unless asked to rethread the needle. The 7-year-old stitches for a while, then reads, then romps with the dog, then stitches for a while. There is no clock ticking on this project.
The three of us who do not have our heights marked on the door frame are conscious of the calendar, already turned to December. But there’s a 7-year-old nearby stitching a pink pig for fun. Tis the season to savor that look of contentment and concentration on a young embroiderer’s face. What better gift could there be?