I used to pick up my grandgirl from preschool when she was just a bitty thing. On the drive home, we would play games in the car, like "I Spy (with my good eye...)," "I'm thinking of something and it's (color)...," and "Make Up Song Time!" The song game went like this:
Me: What shall we sing about?"
And I would make up a song about trees. Or about stop signs. Or about princesses. Or about cats. Or about whatever Kaity wanted. Usually the new tree song started out with a new tune but eventually all the songs always ended up with the same tune. We loved it.
And I would sing other sings, songs my father taught me.
- Oh the horses are running around/their feet are on the ground/oh won't you bring my horses back to me-ee.
- Boom boom ain't it great to be crazy!/Boom boom ain't great to be mad? Silly and foolish all day long...
- I went to the animal fair/all the birds and the beasts were there/the big baboon by the light of the moon/was combing his long blond hair...
And commercials. I'd sing commercials. Oh heck, I'd sing anything. There was one commercial so cute, with a white lab puppy singing "There ain't no fleas on me! There ain't no fleas on me!" Once the song came on the radio when the family was going somewhere and Kaity turned to me and said, "Hey Mamaw, they're singing your song!" And I laughed and we started singing along.
The next Christmas, I was taking Kaity to IKEA for lunch before we went Christmas shopping at the Dollar Store. This was a tradition I had long started: lunch and Christmas shopping. She had to have four dollars: one for a gift for her mom, her dad, her grandad, and her uncle. We would spend all afternoon trying to find "just the right present" with her dollars. On the way, I started singing Christmas carols and Christmas songs along with the radio. Kaity said, "We learned one of your songs in Sunday School." "Really? Which one?" "The one on the radio right now. How did they know your song? Did you teach them your song?" And I realized Kaity thought I made up all the songs we sang. I definitely slid down a peg or two when I explained they weren't songs I made up, but songs others made. It shattered her image of me...and brought on a bit of lost innocence.
I was reminded of this story today when my good friend came to visit for the night. She has loved many of the quilts I have made and displayed online over the years, a pleased owner of a challenging wallhanging. So I got out a couple of quilt patterns I had recently completed or just started, one I will start this weekend. And she was surprised I had patterns. "You mean you don't make up how the quilt will look yourself?" "No, not usually. I need someone to tell me how many inches this needs to be or that needs to be so I can get things in proportion." "So did you make up the cats you made for me?" "No, that was a pattern. It was probably the most challenging applique I have ever done. I needed a picture." "Ohhh...," she said with disappointment.
Here's a few of the quilt tops I have completed that have shattered her illusion of my (now seen as limited) creativity.
This one was a bit challenging at first. I had to cut the background block 30 degrees lengthwise, sew on a strip, sew on the second half of the block. Then from the other side, cut the block 30 degrees, remove one and a half inches, and sew on the second strip. Once I got the hang of it, it was quick and easy. But without a pattern... hahaha!
The second pattern I showed her I had just begun sewing that morning while my friends were sleeping. I completed it after they left for the Oregon coast and it is now joined 10 others in the Quilts-in-Waiting section of the house (waiting for the big beautiful quilting machine!). It was a simple simple pattern, but I needed to have the dimensions of the flying geese before I could cut out and make them. The pattern provided me with those.
I hate shattering her illusions...I hate be the cause for her to lose some of that innocence. But...there ain't no fleas on me! Might be bugs on some of you mugs, but there ain't no fleas on me!