Monday, May 10, 2010

My Mother's Hands

After such an epic knit of literally hundreds of thousands of stitches, I decided to change gears a bit and work on a crochet project for a change. I thought I'd start working on the top I'd mentioned in a previous post - Lace-Inspired Crochet Top by Valerie Kurita. The pattern has been sitting in my basket for literally years, and I thought that it was a good time to give it a try.

I learned to crochet long before I learned to knit. My mother taught me basic stitches when I was a little girl, and I used to spend hours watching her make things, usually blankets or clothes for me. I remember proudly wearing a beautiful white poncho with spring green squares that she made for me to wear on special occasions. I remember watching her hands - one holding the crochet hook like a pencil, the other delicately holding the thread wrapped around her pinky and her forefinger, her thumb and middle finger holding the work as she pushed, pulled, wrapped and drew the hook in and out of the loops. I watched until I knew the movements. It's how I know that my stitches are correct now - I can feel when it's wrong.

Yesterday, as I worked on my project, I looked down at my hands. My friend had recently done my nails so I had some lovely long nails - nails that I normally don't grow long.

And I saw my mother's hands. Fingers with rounded nails, just like hers. Skin, brown from the sun and slightly dry from lots of handiwork. I could have been sitting on her lap, looking down at her project.


How strange that that revelation happened on Mother's Day.

That evening, I called my mother. She thanked me for the orchid arrangement I had sent to my parents' house. And I pictured her hands, still working, cooking, chopping. And I realized that, no matter where I live, or what I do, or how I might try to change myself, she is me. And I am her.

How 'bout that.

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