Sunday, February 1, 2009

a stitch in time

Before I say anything else, I must say that I absolutely have NOT asked for nor secured permission to use these photos. I also didn't take them. Hey, Beth, you sent them to me and that means I get to show the world our little sweetie, right?
This is Kylie. She is my adopted niece, the daughter of one of my best friends, Beth. I was knitting a little bolero sweater for Kylie for Christmas. Time got tight and I had a lot to do so I went out and bought something for Kylie with the intention of finishing the sweater after Christmas. I mean, after all, the kid is 15 months old, today I believe. How long could a sweater for a child that size take?
As it turns out, a fair while if you keep ripping out the stitches or redoing whole sections. The sweater is done now. It was mailed off last week. They should probably get it tomorrow. Blah, blah, blah.
But something occurred to me. In a way that it never has before.
Time goes pretty damn fast.
We say that as we get older, time goes faster. We can't keep up with our lives. There are too many things to do in too little time.
I confess, I am not a big fan of linear time. Never have been. In fact, I have my own measure of time...BN. Before Now. It helps me dispense with figuring out when something happened. I can remember asking in a history class if we had to remember the dates. Hm. I should have known then. I don't remember what grade I was in. Surely you wouldn't expect me to.
I remember the sit-in that I led outside the principle's office. We sat for a good reason. Girls weren't allowed to play kick ball on the kick ball field. Yeah, I know, I am old. No news flash there. It was a peaceful and successful demonstration. Sexism on the kick ball field was forever banished on the playground of Walter M Schirra Elementary School. The boys accepted it with some measure of grace until the girls kicked their butts and gave up playing at all.
That was the year that I earned the nickname "Iron Toes". The next year I also gained "Twinkle Toes". Just what every girl wants to be known for...her toe abilities.
I remember that my eldest niece, Melissa, plugged a black olive on each of her tiny little fingers and laughed hysterically. She is now months away from becoming a teacher.
I remember moments not dates.
So finishing Kylie's sweater 6 weeks later than planned didn't seem like a big deal. It's just 6 weeks, after all.
Then it hit me. The size of the sweater is 12 to 18 months. Tick tock. Will it even fit her? I took my sweet time making the sweater but Kylie is not taking her sweet time growing. I hope it still fits her when she gets it.
My point is that we think that so much happens in our adult worlds. But I think we should be really experienced with this. One day we have never walked and then the next we have. We never had solid food and then Cheerios are a major food group. Toothless then chomping. Our time is busy because we make it that way but children are actually doing some really important stuff.
I have a belief that it is kids that age us. I don't have any so I don't see the passing of time the way parents do. Because for me, 18 and completely in love with David, a man 9 years my elder, was BN but not by a lot. Even if it was almost 30 (gasp) years ago.
I asked my mom when you feel grown up. She told me "I'll let you know." She was about 65 at the time.
So, Kylie, I hope you enjoy your sweater, sweetie. Soon it won't fit and I will make you another. You are doing important work and I hope that it keeps you warm while you are busy growing. And isn't growing our true work in life? When we stop growing, yeah, we can keep our clothes longer but we also tend to keep beliefs and attitudes that no longer fit just to maintain status quo. May you keep growing your whole life long, Kylie. It's makes all the difference.

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