Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bianca's Project

In January, I always get a bit of cabin fever. My way to get through it is with projects. I like to have some sort of project around the house that I focus on. This year, it's getting Portia's big-girl room ready (which will be her 2nd birthday present this year). And I LOVE theme rooms. So we're doing birds.

I've been sorting through the best bird bedding online, hoarding bird things (you should have seen all the Christmas clearance bird and owl stuff they had at Target this year!), and compiling a file of "room" ideas from potterybarn kids catalogues, Internet ideas, etc.

Bianca got on board too. She wanted to make something special for Portia for her birthday. Portia's birthday isn't until April, but Bianca finished her projects--a stuffed bird and owl made from felt. I helped cut out the shapes, but she did all the sewing and stitching herself. She's becoming quite good at sewing!


I'm a little anxious to get going on her room, but am forced to wait. Portia's still very happy in her crib, and while she's happy, I'm happy. We'll wait on most of the big-girl room stuff. Anyway, I've still got a lot of projects to hold me over through the winter, even if I can't put them all up yet.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Four-Leaf Clovers

When I was a kid, I considered myself a “lucky” person. I'd win random things, I'd find find four-leaf clovers everywhere in the lush, clover-ridden grass of my childhood neighborhood. To me, being lucky meant I was God's favorite child.

I'd land in a back bend—one of the thousands of back bends that stretched me from being just another child from that big Watters family to a distinct girl who actually had a talent for gymnastics, even if it was an expensive sport that my parents couldn't possibly afford to support—and find these four-leaf clovers staring up at me. Just waiting to be plucked. And I couldn't resist. I'd lift one arm and pull it, all the while still arched catlike and upside-down in the acrobatic fervor that came naturally to me, like a smile to a happy child or a joke to a funny one.

I would disrupt my personal tumbling practice—that was my daily ritual, much to the chagrin of my yard-loving neighbor whose spacious hill was riddled with the yellowed, stamped grass my flipping left behind—and place it between the crisp pages of the dictionary to wait the several days it needed until it was smooth and flat and ready to be added to the red cardboard box along with the rest of my collection of four-leaf clovers that had singled me out.

It was nice to feel special; I didn't know it was unusual to think I was God's favorite. There was nothing individual enough for me to stand out from the rest of my four siblings in my family: I wasn't the smartest one, or the most athletic, or the cleanest or the friendliest. I had a suspicion of which of us were my parents' favorites, and it wasn't me. But at least I was number one on God's list. And I kept his green morsels of love hidden in my red box, to pull out when I needed them.

As I grew up, the clovers stopped finding me. Maybe I stopped looking for them. I found my box again recently, in the daisy-carved cedar chest that holds all the pictures of my childhood, my pasted-together books about gymnastics, my handmade cards to my mom for mother's day or my dad's birthday. There they sat, brittle and curled around each other, broken and ignored. Forgotten. Untouched because I was afraid I'd break them after all these years. I didn't think I needed them. Maybe if I could go back to them now, I could be God's favorite again. Maybe—if I could get through the many years when I felt God had ignored me. I don't know if he'll love me with four-leaf clovers again. Clover doesn't grow here like it does in the midwest, freely and openly with their big juicy purple blossoms. They're scarce and hard to find and when they do grow, they're quickly squelched with weed killer. It's going to take a lot more from me to find them now. But I'll try to muster the hope it takes to see if I can re-awaken my luck.