Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Flying woman

What a dreary week it's been so far. It's all rain all the time around these parts. And Julian is especially clingy so I haven't had time to do much, but I did finish these adorable little mary janes.

I bought the pattern is from They are a quick and easy knit though I did have some issues with sizing. Either I garter much more tightly than I stocking stitch, Julian's feet are ginormous so it's hard for me to judge, or there's something wrong with the pattern!

I made the little daisies out of rick rack and I adore them. The instructions are from an old Martha Stewart Baby magazine. Basically, you cut a piece of rick rack with 16 points on the bottom, run a stitch in and out of each point, tighten, sew the first and last edge together, seal with fray-away and trim. Then sew a coordinating button in the center and voila! The most adorable daisy. Have you ever? I love it! Now I just have to wait for someone to expect a baby girl!

And now for a complete change of pace, my first entry for the parenting book blog along. Warning: no knitting content ahead!

Chapter 1: What do I want more than anything for my child?

I want him to know love (and self-love).
I want him to be happy.
I want him to feel valued.
I want him to embrace life.
I want him to take his place in the world.
I want him to be the change he wants to see.

These are the things I thought of when pondering the question posed by Wayne Dyer in the first chapter of What do you really want for your children? (the book I am reading as part of the parenting book blog-along).

I was amazed when I kept reading to find that in his experience, these are the same qualities all parents want for their children. And I wondered, is this new? Did our parents want this for us too? When I think of everyone I know, I don't see many no limit role models. Does this mean that our parents failed us? Or did they simply have other definitions of success?

My mother was a homemaker. And she was very unhappy. Most days, I came home from school to find her sitting at the kitchen table with coffee and cigarettes talking to someone about how horrible her life was, what a jerk my dad was, and how she really needed to win the lottery. She would see us come in (I have two older sisters), would tell whoever she was talking to to hold on a sec while she instructed us to vacuum or do laundry or start supper. Then my dad would come home, we'd eat supper quietly, do the dishes and retire to our rooms.

Her definition of parenting success (and she still prides herself for this parenting 'feat') is that we didn't become drug addicts or prostitutes and that we know how to clean house (my mother is an obsessive cleaner, at 60 she still cleans her kitchen floors with a toothbrush every other day despite being the only one in the house)!

I learned to be the almost no-limit person I think I am from TV. Since my parents didn't model no limit living for me, I learned most of these things from the tender moments at the end of the shows I watched as a child. You know, the end of every episode of The Little House on the Prairie or Full House or The Cosby Show when the sappy music starts and the main character learns an important life-lesson? I also learned this from God. And from my friends (and their parents) and teachers.

I am happy. I feel that I make my own luck and can savour the little (and the big) things that life has brought me. I am resilient in the face of troubles and manage to get through them quickly. I know that hard work will be rewarded even if it is just the self-satisfaction. I am proud of myself and of my accomplishments. I am confident. I believe that I can do anything and be whoever I want to be if I set my mind to it. I don't look to others to make me happy. I lead a simple life. I married a great man. A loving, caring, supportive, brilliant and fun-loving man. I am not petty or pretentious. I don't seek riches. I enjoy the things I have and am grateful for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. I make my own luck.

I said I was almost a no-limit person though. I have a flaw. I'm the flying woman.

I discovered this wonderful Brian Andreas verse before Christmas after coming across one of his prints on Krista's site. I instantly recognised myself in it when I saw it and sobbed, and sobbed, and sobbed. It says "For a long time she flew only when she thought no one else was watching." That's me. I can fly. I know that about myself. But I'm afraid to let others see for some totally irrational reason I don't know of yet.

So here's my big flaw: I live in a cocoon, a safe happy place I've created for myself ever since I was a child. This is where I exhibit all of my other no-limit characteristics. In my cocoon, I am self-loving, able and confident. But all of that fades away when I am in a social situation, especially if there are a lot of other people around. In those situations, I do a lot of smiling and nodding and count down the minutes in my head until I can go home to my cocoon. There are others in my cocoon. My husband and son, my family, my in-laws, a few colleagues and dear friends.

I've often tried to venture out of my cocoon but I really don't feel at ease there. Outside of my cocoon I freeze up, I worry about not knowing what to say, I feel like I have nothing to contribute and am in every way a shrinking violet. So I don't go there. My husband is the same way (though perhaps to a lesser extent). So I am worried that we will pass this on to our children, that we won't be able to model outgoingness (is that a word?) This I know is something we'll have to work on ourselves. I believe it is a gift that we give ourselves and our children.

I don't know what I am afraid of really, but for now I am perfectly happy flying around my cocoon. Brian Andreas' verse is also full of hope for me though which is the silver lining. "For a long time" implies that she eventually allows herself to fly even while others watch. I hope to be able to do this too as a gift to myself and to my children ;0)


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  2. Love the shoes Anny. The daisy is so cool. Small ones would look good on each side of a bonnet too! That Martha, she thinks of everything.

  3. Well what do you know. I'M expecting a baby girl just next month (tee hee hee).

  4. Anonymous4:10 p.m.

    The shoes are adorable! Ok, I am behind on my reading...baddddd student, lol

  5. Wow the flying woman is so clever making little booties that cute. You know I do not think that you will pass your socialisation problems onto Julian. I too am not confident in front of people that I do not really know, but my kids are great at parties. I tell them how much I love, how beautiful my daughter is and my son too. My son is shy like I was, but can make friends easily at a party. I think if you tell your son how special he is all the time (which I am sure that you do) then he will be a very loving and confident boy. I think it also stems from the fact that maybe you do not feel like your mother loved you, or she did not tell you. I know my mother never did, but we get along better now that I have children of my own.

  6. Those Mary Janes are so adorable, and I love the daisies!

    I used to be extremely shy as a child and youth. When I first started school I wouldn't even talk. The teacher would have to ask me questions with a yes or no answer in order for me to respond. As I grew up, I was still shy and awkward in social situations. Once I came to the Lord in 2000, that is when my greatest changes started taking place. I'm not too shy anymore(though there are still some situations where I am for a bit), I don't always know what to say or how to start conversations, but if there is one going I can take part in it. I have grown more confident, and I really believe that the Lord has helped me overcome things like this (and much more). I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

  7. The Mary Janes are sweet. It is funny how much our parents affect us (I mean it seems obvious but there are so many other subtle things). Your awareness and sensitivity are so excellent; I think that shyness or social inhibition is very much a personality thing; no shame in that. Julian looks so engaging I doubt he will have the same anxieties you have - there is nothing wrong with the cocoon; it doesn't sound as if you are delusional or don't deal with the realities of life and hey if you are as happy as the woman with the wings that is a good thing indeed.

  8. Anonymous6:37 p.m.

    I think it is kind of romantic, to only fly when people aren't watching.

    (but i do hear what you are saying, of course).