Yesterday morning, Mattias had a fever. Trixie is teething. I thought to myself that if each kid is sick one day, once every three weeks – which doesn't sounds like a lot – that STILL means I have a sick kid to take care of once every week. Gah. Multiplication by 3! See? That's how I end up desperate for control. If I can't control the kids' sicknesses, then at least I can control other things...
I made a lot of kombucha. I tried to make it look lovely. It was a 20 minute activity, once a week. Always a new flavor experiment. Fritz never liked any of the flavors I made. Maybe because I cared more about how it looked in the bottle than how it tasted. I couldn't (alone) drink the kombucha fast enough. So I moved on.
"Napkins?" asked my brother. His voice indicated I sounded crazy.
"Yes. Napkins. With spare pieces of fabric. And the tiniest little hems I can, Depression Era inspired, like Grandma would have made. You know, it's not as easy as you would think: because you want them to be square and neat. The fabric should feel nice and soft, like you want to use it to wipe your mouth. And you have to fold and iron the edges before you sew. The hems need to be consistently sized all around. You think it's simple, but it's minimalist art, really. I'm still refining my technique."
"How many have you made?"
"Uh. Okay." His voice said: Confirmed. Crazy. "What are you going to do with them?"
"Maybe give them as Christmas gifts."
"Oh," he said unenthusiastically. I mentally removed him from my napkin gift list.
"Then make one," said my mom. So I did: micro fleece on one side and some woven dot fabric on the other side. Long. Simpler than a blanket. Faster than a coat or bunting. Reversible.
Some evenings, I folded origami Moravian stars. My brother-in-law was visiting from China with his girlfriend. Every night that week, after the kids were asleep, we would gather around the table. The smart phones would emerge. I don't have a smart phone. But, you know, smart phones are helpful in conversation when you are discussing, say, the setting of The Shining, and need to immediately confirm that the exterior of the hotel was the lodge at Mount Hood Meadows in Oregon and the interior of the hotel was the Stanley in Estes Park in Colorado.
I folded a star while everyone else worked on that confirmation.
"Why are you doing that?" my brother-in-law asked me.
"I guess because it gives me something to do."
"Well, if you ever get tired of it, let me know, and we can outsource it to China."
Noah asked me to make his Halloween costume. Some years in the past, I've made Halloween costumes. Some years I've purchased them. This year I felt REALLY busy refining my Art of the Napkin. There has also been tension between Noah and I over the last few weeks. I wasn't feeling particularly generous in my Making Stuff Spirit towards him. But I made him a costume anyway. Mattias wanted to be the same thing (an owl).
Okay, fine. Sigh. Two Owls. I chopped up my maternity clothes to make the feathers. It was cathartic.
Noah is wearing his costume all the time this week. I think he appreciates this costume much more than any of my other home-made costumes. Maybe he's finally old enough to appreciate it? Maybe he's just happy to see some talents thrown in his direction.