Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sew, play guitar, write, parent, and maybe vaccuum (if the family's lucky)

The photo: I created the pattern for this dress based on looking at one of Lucia's storebought garments. To date, it is the most difficult project I've attempted. There is a little green heart button on the front for decorative purposes only. I used snaps instead of buttons to fasten up the dress.

I'm in a writing lull right now. I want to keep in contact with my fellow bloggers, and part of that contact involves posting on a regular basis. Right now, the things I'm actively interested in don't necessarily lend themselves to blog posts of a storytelling nature. I have been working with both the guitar and the sewing machine. Both activities involve focused concentration, and while it's great for clearing away the clutter in my mind, I become irritated when distracted. It takes me at least a half hour to become absorbed in something, and that does not lend itself well to parenting. Lucia is going through the phase of asking, "Where's the...?" for everything. I know that "where" will soon be replaced with "why," but in the meantime, I'm finding that conversations about striped-trousers, the girl who played piano at church, the conveniently missing dollies (usually under the bed), the frustrations of stopping at stop-lights ("Where's the more driving?") quite, quite tedious.

However, playing guitar with Lucia is fun. It's not the same as practicing on my own, but it's definitely more entertaining for both of us. Lucia stands behind me and examines the mole on my neck (incredulous that it "doesn't hurt") while requesting the songs "Jenny Jenkins," "Mama Don't Allow," and "Hallelujah." She strums the guitar, too, and likes to stop the strings with the flat of her hand. Sometimes she slings a leg over my shoulder.

Sewing holds a similar interest, too: there are sharp needles and scissors, long spools of thread to unravel, and the sewing box inevitably turns into a bed for the dollies. Early on, she got the nickname of "Textiles Girl" because of her interest in stripes, dots, spirals, checks and all manner of patterns. Thanks to Lucia, I've branched out from my basic black wardrobe to include bright colors and patterns. Just because I probably wouldn't wear a red and yellow polka-dotted shirt doesn't mean my socks have to be humdrum.

Most of the time, I don't view our interchanges as distractions. I am, after all, a full-time parent right now. It's something I wanted to do, and something we can afford to do if we live prudently and don't get any spendy notions. I don't write about cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, or going to the park unless there is something funny or poignant to share. The sounds that Lucia finds so funny (and I confess, I do as well) don't translate well to print. Lucia has a song she usually sings only when I'm running the sewing machine, and another one for when I vacuum, but the words are both nonsensical and joyful. As I write this post, she is laughing and running around the fireplace that divides the kitchen from the living room, singing "Di-waaaaaay."

Now you know why I like it when you offer me words for stories. I have something specific and concrete to think about when I'm pushing Lucia on the swings or examining every leaf on our way to the post-office. By the time I sit down at the keyboard, I can write a little story as if it were inspired by the moment, when really, I have been mulling over it for a good while.


Lone Star Ma said...

Things this post makes me think of: 1. A book called Mamaphonic: Balancing Motherhood and Other Creative Acts
2. The LSG this past weekend telling me "I just want to bring out the BEAUTY of FABRICS"
3. Your enchanting child
4. Story word: texture

abcgirl said...

story word: wink.

(sorry if this is a repeat, i can't remember!)

Fridaysweb said...

Excuse me for this being so late and after the fact. I just now read this (I've been lazy). On November 8th, I posted something about "Inspiration" in my own blog. In it, I challenged my friends who seem to be having some writer's block with a couple of prompts. If you're interested, it's a fun project. I also enjoy seeing prompts from other writers, as I spend so much time in block-land, myself.

I love the notion of Lucia singing her very own made up songs. That's a sign that she's well on her way to becoming a free-thinking spirit who will cherish her own self without fear of trying to "fit in". So important.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I remember your poems back when you posted them, and was glad to have read them. I planned to post something in response, and got distracted. Sigh. If I don't do something at the moment it occurs to me, I often lose it.