Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A plaid quilt for my 13 year old boy (AKA - a John Boy Quilt)

My first born baby is almost 13. The boy who made me a mother, who made me re-think most every thing I'd ever thought, who taught me more about myself than I knew I had to learn is almost a teen. I can't believe it. It feels as though a blink ago he was a tiny little baby in my arms. I can still see so much of his first year so clearly that it seems as though it was yesterday..but it wasn' was 13 years ago. How does that happen?

This seems like a big deal to me...I think more so than it is to him. I want to mark it in some special way. I think it is important to have rites of passage...certain milestones in life marked with some kind of ceremony or special recognition. We have always had certain birthday rituals but I want something really special for this one. A special friend sent me a wonderful idea for something I could do with beads. Each bead stands for a particular thing that I wish for him in his life as he heads towards adulthood - strength, wisdom , compassion, kindness and so on for 13 beads...13 hopes for him. W has always been such a wonder to me, such a wise old soul from the very beginning of his life that I feel certain that he will do well in whatever life brings to him.
He and I have been enjoying watching The Waltons together and he mentioned how much he liked their quilts. I decided to make him his own John Boy quilt. I've never quilted before but have wanted to since seeing the amazing creations my friend Katherine makes. She inspired me to try my hand at it. If you know me then you know that I am a slap-dasher...that I am quite content to be so...and have always been so. I was talking to my folks on the phone last week and mentioned that I was making a quilt. My mom asked me if my squares were nice and straight (poor woman is still recovering from teaching me how to sew and knit when I was a child) and my response was "ish." I heard my dad chuckle on the other line. And am surprised he managed to restrain himself from an outright guffaw or even a snort. My dad is a just-so kind of person and our different approaches to getting things done has always been a joke between us.
At any rate, the quilt is on the go. It has 13 squares across to signify his 13th birthday. It is made of plaid shirts and some fabrics from the thrift store (as well as one shirt from my husband). I am very pleased with the way it is turning out. Is it perfect? Do my corners line up perfectly on each and every square? No, they don't. Nor do I want them to. It is important to me that my sons learn to live with joy and to try all kinds of things in life...not to wait until they can do them perfectly...because perfect might never happen, but to take joy in what is and what they can do Now. Because life is short...and it can be beautiful...if only we are willing to see the beauty in all things, not just the "perfect" things.


Joanne said...

Heather, the quilt is gorgeous and I loved this post. I so admire, how well you know your sons and what a thoughtful, reflective parent you are. I also agree with your appreciation of the 'not so perfect'. I recently told someone that our house is not perfect, because neither are the people who live there and that's just fine with us!

Mary-Sue said...

oh, wow! Heather it's just beautiful -- perfect in its reflection of your love for your son! W is a wonder to me, too. Love this post!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather,

Wow, a beautful quilt in deed!! Takes me back to the Watltons episodes!! I am sure your son will love it!!

13, the entrance to teenage hood and evenutally adulthood. I so agree with you and the quickness of time passing. I too feel my kids were just little not that long ago, in my mind! When my first born turned 13, I wrote him a letter, pouring out all my desires for goodness and blessings for his future and patience for me, as I had never parented a teen before! He is now 20 (my gosh!! a man son!!hehe)Hmmm I should ask him if he still has that letter??

Continue to cherish and seize the moments as you two travel through the future years together!!

Happy Birthday to W!!!

affectioknit2 said...

What a lovely quilt

Anonymous said...

What a lovely quilt. It looks absolutely perfect to me!

Katherine said...

Your quilt is made with love. That makes it perfect and beautiful, in my opinion. What a wonderful handmade treasure to mark W's passage into becoming an adult.