By Kristen Banks
I’ve recently had the distinct pleasure of teaching my Mom to quilt. In most cases, that would be the opposite scenario, with the mother teaching the child. While my mother has taught me many things, like so many women, her hobbies came second to the needs of her family. It’s not that she was opposed to learning, it’s just that time spent on herself was time taken away from us. She wanted to give us every opportunity to grow and thrive, even if that came at the expense of her own needs.
She not only sacrificed hobbies, she also gave up “nice things” and a career. These are just the things I know about. I’m humbled to think of all of the things that I don’t know about. I’m thrilled that I can finally give something back to her, even if it pales in comparison with what she has given to me.
I’m not sure what her life would have looked like if she had invested in her singing career the kind of time that she invests into her family. With a voice like Karen Carpenter and her uncanny knack of “being in the right place at the right time,” I’m sure she would have gone far.
I do know what my life would have looked like though. It would have looked pretty dim. I would not be the person I am today If she had not poured so much of herself into me. I am forever grateful for her selflessness and for making my world a brighter place.
When I think of my Mom I’m reminded that it’s never too late to take time for yourself and to learn something new. My Mom has taken to quilting like a duck to water. Although it’s only been about a year since she got started, she is already working on her fifth quilt. She does beautiful work, finishes what she starts, and is always eager for the next project. She spends countless hours looking at quilting books and magazines planning for her next pattern or color scheme. She watches video tutorials, asks lots of questions, and even admits to dreaming about quilting. I am so thrilled that she has found an outlet for her creativity and is able to do this one small thing for herself, but the best thing about her love for quilting is that I can share it with her.
I hope my Mom’s enthusiasm for quilting continues and I have no doubt that it will. As we look back on our lives, and the decisions that we have made, it is only natural to ponder over the different paths we might have taken. I’ve found that I have no regrets over the decisons I have made to spend time together with the one’s that I love. For my Mom and me, each new project means time spent together, and time spent together quilting is time well spent.
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