And not just because she rides the school bus with high schoolers.
She's growing up.
Toys are scarce on her Christmas list.
The encroachment of fashions and accessories have pushed them into endangered territory.
And yet, the Ittybit she used to be hop-skipped off the bus today -- past the seniors and sophomores - and into my arms wearing a poinsettia ornament she'd made in art class with construction paper and a clothespin.
Annabel has been wanting a basket for her bike ever since the training wheels came off. When we couldn't find anything that suited her "style" she decided I could make one with our sewing machine.
I procrastinated for a while, but then I had an idea. I could quilt one using scrap fabrics and a length of high-loft batting I had found in a remnant bin.
I pieced together the top to fit the width of the batting, basted it to the batting and quilted it along the seam lines. Next, I pinned in place the backing, attached a homemade bias tape to the edges and stitched all the way around. Folding the quilted side together so that about four inches remained unmatched, I sewed the long edges and turned it inside out to form the bag. I toyed with the idea of boxing the corners (as might notice in the picture) but I decided to keep it simple.
I top stitched along the back of the top edge to made a crease in the flap for easier folding. Finally I cut two 12" strips of grosgrain ribbon and stitched them to the outside edge of the flap (three inches from each side of center) so the basket could be tied to the handlebars.
It was such a success that Silas demanded one for his bike.
Of course I was out of batting ... and he wasn't really keen on the pretty quilted look (he wanted man-eating sharks on his basket)... So I procrastinated again.
Until today, when I found some olive-drab twill at the local junk shop (three yards for $6) and thought it would make a nice temporary "bike basket" that I could put on my bike if he didn't want it.
I used the same basic design as before -- two rectangles of fabric (outer and lining) but without the interfacing or batting. I made the exterior of the bag first, leaving a four-inch section at the top for a flap and then sewed the lining. I boxed the corners for both bags before inserting the lining, turning the bag inside out and stitching around the opening. I then stitched the bias tape around the flap and opening. Finally, I stitched the straps (ribbons that I'd saved from some of our wedding gifts, actually) to the back of the bag.
Silas took one look at the bag I was now coveting, and decided he didn't care about sharks after all.
Someone mentioned that today was the
26th anniversary of the famous October
snow storm that took out power in the northeast for about
I couldn't believe it. It seemed like a
lifetime had passed. I was in college (first year) and realizing for
the first time I had options. Namely, a friend who lived in the city
(with power) who would let me crash on her couch while I went to
My parents might have had some nostalgic hopes of being together as a family through the hardship.
But I jumped at the chance to abandoned
Who wouldn't pick hot showers and late-night-television marathons with friends over studying by candlelight with the parental units as they tried to cook dinner over a Coleman stove?
Turns out I'm more of an opportunist
than a survivalist.
These things don't change.
I struggle with what to write here,
especially with so much going on in the corner of the Earth that I
call my own.
Do I tell you that I worry? Or that I'm
not sure I'm happy? Do I tell you I feel anxious and ineffective?
That I miss my mother? That I hate feeling any comfort at all that
the woman who took her place is delightful. It makes me feel disloyal
to the woman she was.
It makes me feel like I've abandoned
Do I tell you that I am not prepared
for the future?
I try to push it out of my mind. Think
about cheerful things.
The kids are fine and growing like
Silas went from 32 pounds on his
birthday in June to 39 pounds just this past week. It's making me sad
that I have trouble hefting the former flyweight.
Annabel is practically a teenager, and
acting like one (in the pre-teen positive sense) as she cares about
the condition of her clothes and the state of her hair. Tangles are
becoming a thing of the past as are mismatched colors and prints.
More often than not, I find I can't
recognize either one of them when I search across the soccer field.
She's taller than I remember. Her hair is longer. She plays with more
assuredness. He is just as fast as the other boys and nearly as tall.
Soon they will be going to high school
… and college …
The bus won't drop them here at the end
of the day.
Too soon, their homecomings will be
brief visits. They will have their own homes elsewhere.
I feel guilty. Like I have abandoned
them too, as I spin off into the future where the ground is
I need to stop jumping ahead. I need to stay put in the here and now.