I had one of those days recently. You know what I’m talking about; not enough sleep, distracted mind, short temper. The kind of day, when your own energy is in complete conflict with your child’s. They always seem to need you most on those days. Or maybe their needs just seem exaggerated to the cranky mama mind. After a less than patient day,in which I uh-huhed at epic stories told, and hurried them through convoluted explanations of lego creations, alien theories, and reasons for not wanting to do what was asked, I put them to bed early, with no extra chapters, and breathed a huge sigh of relief.
With no mental capacity left for writing, I sat down to sew a new tote I’d been wanting to get to all day. As I cut, and pressed, and stitched, I felt the weight of the day pour out of me. I whipped through the pattern steps, feeling confident after making one of these already, letting my ego push aside doubt, and think I was rocking this; no need to double check my work. And then, as they do, the bubble burst. I turned over the strap and realized I’d sewn the wrong side of the fabric on the outside of the strap. Not a big deal, but frustrating. As I painstakingly Un-did every stitch, perspective flooded in. I had fobbed off my kids during the day while trying to steal moments of my own, and now, I had to rip this seam and start over, all because I had breezed over important details in my race to the finish line.
The work of repair doesn’t end with the Un-doing of stitches, or an early bedtime, because every stitch leaves a hole, and that perforated mark is left on the fabric of their hearts, and now the job becomes carefully stitching it all back together again. How much easier, pleasanter, it could have been, to do it well, with patience and attention, the first go around.
Maybe, just maybe, the neediness is their brilliant way of showing us the disconnect. All the whining and pulling on shirts is their way of trying to bring us out of our funk and back to them. To the important moment in front of us.