My oldest daughter turned eleven on the weekend. Her birthday was filled with all the people and things she loves best - friends and grandparents, a pile of new books and good food. It's so lovely watching her grow and change. Such an honour and a privilege to be part of her life and sharing these milestones with her. I really am so blessed that she is in my life. She teaches me so much about myself and about what is really important. Often it's not what I think!
Ever since she was three I've hand sewn her a little toy with wool felt for her birthday. It's been our tradition. Except this year she said she didn't want me to make her one any more. She's too old for them now. I was devastated. I've always made these little toys for her. How could I not do it this year?
I really grieved this ending of an era and of a tradition. I felt like the way I expressed my love for her was being rejected. That our family traditions that had developed over time was being thrown away. It threw me completely. How could I not make her something for her birthday? A good friend suggested I make her something else. She suggested a quilt. With less than a week till her birthday I knew that wasn't going to happen.
On a trip to the city she fell in love with a cute cat on the cover of a needle felting kit from the Japanese super store, Daiso. She was really keen for me to make it for her instead. I was reluctant. I've only done a little bit of needle felting before. Nothing 3D or this hard. I took a deep breath and bought the kit anyway.
It took me a while to start making the cat. I was still grieving the things I wanted to make for her. Still not quite ready to let go of my dreams and fully embrace her desires. It's a tricky business this, growing children.
Making the cat had a slow start. The kit she chose had no instructions - just some wool felt and a picture of the finished product! I watched countless YouTube videos, hoping for a tutorial for this particular kit but alas, there was none.
Once I started and the head began to take shape something strange happened. I started to enjoy myself. I found myself immersed in the process, intent on getting the cat's expression just right. I was in that wonderful flow state where time doesn't matter and you're completely absorbed in what you're doing. It was wonderful!
I'm so grateful that I listened to what she really wanted. I'm so relieved that she still wants me to make things for her. I'm so pleased that I pushed my boundaries of what I'm capable of making. And I'm so happy to discover a new crafting passion.