Tuesday, December 16, 2014


My son, 9, and I made something together: a no-sew blanket out of clearance-isle fleece from Jo-AnnFabrics for his cousin, my niece, who is two.

We sat around the kitchen table in the glow of the tealights I had lit and we measured, cut, tied. While we worked I tried to teach him the sea shanty worksongs I know, singing, so goodbye to Ellen and sweet Georgia Brown we've left you enough to buy a silk gown, we're bound for the Rio Grande, awaaaaaay Rio...

But he was like, "Have you ever been on a 19th century whale ship, Mom?" I had to admit I had not.
The point is, so okay, I was disallowed to launch like a songbird into "A-Roving" but we made something. With our hands.

Earlier in the week we'd made dog toys for the holiday bazaar, stuffing leftover McDonogh tennis camp tennis balls into loud holiday-print socks, and braiding the ends, and making labels for them with cheery names like, "Fido's Friend." I said to him, all weepy with gratitude for the small moments, "I love making dog toys with you, son."

In this Brain Science age, and age of intellect and neurotransmitters, and racing to stay in place, and AI and Stephen Hawking and the guy who owns Tesla saying we'll be at the mercy of the robots soon,  it was so refreshing to tie fabric into knots.

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