Knit until last 3 stitches, then K2tog, K1. This used to look like another language to me. I remember the early months of sitting in my college dorm room as we talking politics and tried to figure out who to add this new domestic skills to our otherwise very intellectual arsenal. I remember the late nights in my first apartment waiting for my husband to come home from class. Watching Law & Order and teaching myself new stitches.

The years of waiting for the baby season and making dozens of baby blankets for friends and setting a few aside for my future children. I learned to make clothes, more complicated afghans. Every time I added a new skills it required that I slow down and focus more on what I was doing. It was often frustrating because it required more concentrated energy. It no longer became a smooth flowing process with a somewhat predictable result.

Parenting has become much like this. It’s like learning a new language and calculating a new currency all of once. Each time a new issue is raised, I have to slow everything else down. Give that new thing more of my attention and energy. Yes, it’s easy to stick to familiar patterns and methods. But since no two kids are the same, it may not and often doesn’t work.  It’s inconvenient to give a particular child or issue my extra attention because there is so much else vying for my time. I know the end result is not guaranteed. I can follow instructions to the letter and things still may not turn out the way I want them.

But I also know the joy of a completed project, that even in it’s flaws is beautiful. Why my son picks up his room when I ask the first. When my children enjoy an activity together without fighting. Watching my daughter occupy her baby brother without being asked. There is hope that someday this may become second nature and that things may go smoothly, at least for a time.


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