I made this.
No, really, I just made this pouch tonight in a 2-hour introductory sewing class. Inspired by some of my crafty friends, I thought I might try sewing again. I have a pretty decent sewing machine that my mom left to me and I took a beginning class years ago. But that project was much more ambitious than this one—I think it was a top (with sleeves!) and pants made out of stretchy knit fabric. Not so easy for a beginner and no quick, finished product to feel a sense of accomplishment that makes you want to keep going (oof, I sound like I’m channeling Amy Chua- yikes). So I didn’t keep it up. But my cute little lined drawstring pouch (in Hudson’s colors, in case you didn’t notice) has got me thirsting for more. Another class or two and lots of practice and maybe I can solve my own problem about boys’ clothes being ridiculously drab and pedestrian (Melissa T., I’m looking at you for guidance here).
It’s been a weird several days. Probably the least I’ve written on the blog (when not on vacation) since I started it. And that’s hard. I look at January and think, “I only wrote 16 posts?” In the past, I’ve almost felt bad about these periods where I don’t write as often, as if I’m somehow not doing right by my sweet girl. But I’ve started to recover from that kind of silly thinking. As if on the days I’m not writing here, I’m not thinking about her almost constantly, not thinking about all the sad days behind and ahead of us and all the happy days behind and ahead of us, not thinking about the immense challenge that lies in ahead as we continue to learn to live without Hudson and parent her siblings in her absence and in our grief. Of course I am.
I have struggled so much in the past several months with what it means to have these more peaceful days, these days where the words don’t just pour out of me by sheer force of necessity. But I am trying hard (still) to come to terms with that. I am working hard to find outlets for the little bits of focused (and sometimes creative) energy that hit me here and there, partly because it helps me and partly because it is another way to honor Hudson, another way to cherish what is.
The other weekend, we had some friends over for brunch. I love brunch and I have this great new cookbook full of brunch recipes that I wanted to try. I made a yummy strata from a recipe and then improvised on some blueberry baked apples, which also turned out great. It felt so good both to do something I had forgotten that I loved and to provide some nourishment to others, after having been on the receiving end of so much nourishment, physical and otherwise, for such a long time. But I also nourished myself, something else I’d pretty much forgotten how to do. Sometimes it’s almost too easy to give in to the grief and the sadness and just wallow. Obviously, I need room and space for that (and I’ve taken it, quite liberally, whenever I’ve needed it), but as we inch closer and closer to the birth of another child, I feel the need to begin exercising muscles that have almost atrophied for lack of use, especially my creative muscles. Being a mom is so often about being creative, being willing and able to try something new when all your tried and true tricks fail. So I guess by trying to fire up my creative juices, I am not only continuing to heal myself, but I am also preparing for the hard work of mothering an infant (and later a toddler) again.
I feel not unlike those times I begin exercising after a long hiatus (yet another thing I need to be doing more of): sore, a bit bewildered, but also a little exhilarated and ready for more.
It feels good.