Monday, April 22, 2013

Round and Round Together


I always knew I would become a spinner someday. 

I just knew it. 

Long ago I realized how deeply connected to fiber I was, and there were certain things about myself I always took for granted.

Sometimes things happen when you are determined to learn a skill at all costs.

Sometimes, they happen more organically.  Unexpectedly you become or learn something in a way that surprises you.

About 12 years ago I bought a little wooden drop spindle.

I tried my hand at it once in a while, but never really got the hang of it and put it away.

For over 10 years.

I wasn't discouraged, I knew it would find it's way back into my life.  When the time was right.  I didn't worry much about it.

This past month, I got it out again. 

I've been dreaming of sheep lately (should be counting sheep), and thought I should try to spin a little yarn first.

I got a video from the library.  And watched a youtube.

And BAM - it connected.

Then the cool part.

As soon as that little spindle started whirling,

round and round,

Four kids started begging....

"Mom, WHAT are you doing?"
"Mom, THAT is so cool!"
"Mom, Can I try it please, PLEASE?"

So off to the Fiber Store I went.

Now I have a basket-full of wool roving in lovely colors.

Two more pretty wooden spindles.

And five happy spinners. 

I never thought we'd all be learning this together.

Something timeless and ancient in it's motion.

Something that has been done by little children in homes for thousands of years, in this way.

We are connecting as a family through the yarn we spin.  And my kids are surprisingly thrilled by the process.


I am savoring this time together in the evenings with my kids,
sitting and spinning and talking and discovering how this works.

Comparing our yarns.  And learning to deal with some frustration along the way.

It seems to be holding the attention of some of my kids that have difficulty focusing on anything but a TV screen.

You know she had to try it

Yes, I want a wheel.


But for now, I'll stick to my little wooden spindles.

And the results are in!

My first, truly handspun YARN.  I made YARN!!! 

Three different gauge yarns with the same wool

I never imagined that I would learn to spin in this way, alongside my 'tribe.' 

But of course,

This was the right time.

It found it's way back into my life after all.

This was how it was supposed to have been all along.

Connecting us all together.  In this unexpected and wonderful way.

Sharing with:
Frontier Dreams Keep Calm Craft On
Ginny's Yarn Along
Tami Ami's Finished Object Friday
and Natural Suburbia's Creative Friday

Monday, April 15, 2013

In Defense of Those Misbehaving Children

No pretty pictures today. 

Today I want to confess that I was a perfect mother before I had kids :)
I used to be one of those people who was simply not going to have bratty kids. 
I used to think that all misbehaving kids were the result of clueless parents.

I have wanted to be an expert in many things in my life. 
I never wanted to be an Autism expert. 
But my life took a different turn. 

The day at the clinic when I heard those official words, "I think it might be Autism."
I became an Autism mommy.
I know a lot about Autism now. 

I see a different world than some of you see. 
I see mothers in waiting rooms who are venting the harsh realities of raising these kids.
Finances strained to pay for therapy.
Marraiges on the brink or over.
Physically exhausted people.
Kids who are out-of-control. 
Parents emotionally drained from taking care of these kids.

Who's best day, might be when their child says one simple word. In Kindergarten. For the first time.

When my four-and-a-half-year-old son came home from special-ed preschool, and said the words, "It was blue."  I cried.  That was the most he'd ever expressed in his life. I still don't know today what it was that was blue. 

And then. 

And then,
on the internet, and sometimes from well-meaning people, I hear things like this. 

"Back in my day we didn't have a label for things.  We used to call it what it is - being a spoiled Brat!!!"

"The other day I was in a restaurant, (or on an airplane, or wherever) and I could not believe the manners and the crazy behavior of the kids I saw. What's up with kids these days?"

It comes from all over the place.  From well-respected journalists, from well-meaning people who are ignorant, and self-proclaimed experts.

And sure, let's be fair, there are some really spoiled kids out there.

But I have another perspective that I really want you to know about.  Because we JUDGE.  And that judgement hurts a segment of society you probably DON'T SEE as much as I do.

I need you to know about it.  And know that those 'bratty' kids that you see in waiting rooms, at the airport, in restaurants - might not be what you think.

It's because of the 'face' of Autism.

The face of Autism is often a very beautiful one.
Without wheelchairs.
Without unusual facial features.
Without scars or deformities.

Kids with Autism look like normal kids. 

But they aren't.

For a child with Autism,
Sitting in a chair can be torture.
Listening to you chew your food can cause pain.
Fear and Anxiety overwhelm them.

April is Autism Awareness Month.

So be aware. 

And when you see those misbehaving children.

PLEASE, please Don't judge.