I just started Anne Lamott’s new book “Stitches” on Friday. Thankfully, we have a four day weekend to celebrate Diwali so I’m counting on some serious reading time. I love Anne Lamott-every time I read something she’s written it’s as if she’s shown me something about myself that I didn’t know was there.
I’m barely into her latest book, but already there are so many pieces that stand out to me. One quote in particular hit a chord with where I am in right now. Anne (I think I can call her that since she seems to know my soul so well) writes, “We live stitch by stitch, when we’re lucky. If you fixate on the whole shebang, you miss the stitching.” I think so much of becoming an adult and for me, a mother, is recognizing the importance of the stitches. Hanging the laundry. Making lunches. Coloring. Legos. Tickle fights. Snuggly mornings. A glass of wine after dark.
My stitches are the mundane tasks. The ones that make you question if it even matters.
Bedtime stories. Every night. Always at least three.
Funny faces captured while we wait for big sister
Kid-made Halloween costumes
Are my kids going to turn out okay? Are they in the best school for them? Should we be living abroad or in the States? Are they overscheduled? Are they underscheduled? Should we have left Brazil when we did? When is the right time to leave India? Why haven’t I made them learn how to play the piano?
These questions constantly race through my head and I find myself so tangled up in them that I can’t make heads or tails of the answers. But this quote-this idea that we can knit life together stitch by stitch-seems manageable. In the end, when I focus on the fabric I miss the stitching. The details. The small moments of their days that will ultimately create who they are.
I can’t create the fabric of their lives without taking it stitch by stitch. Do the next thing. The best thing. The true thing. These are the stitches that will carry them through their life.
Just yesterday I found myself taking note of the tiny threads of our day. There was the soccer practice that Paul was finally able to take Noah and Sophie to-watching them play for the first time in weeks.
The quiet morning I had at home-folding laundry, cleaning out the fridge, organizing the girls’ room, that gave me peace.
All of us watching Stella put together her first legitimate swim strokes at the pool. Cheering more loudly than if we were at a college football game.
Dinner with friends and lighting firecrackers for Diwali in the streets.
Buying flowers from the street market.
My stitching. Their fabric.