As a mom, I get this overwhelming urge for things that stay the way I put them. This is because as a mom, things never stay where or how I left them. I end up hoarding nail-clippers in my bathroom because if my teenage daughter gets her hands on them, I’ll never see them again. The t’ween son who’s on his fourth round of antibiotics should have stayed “better” at round two. The $140 I paid to have my bathrooms and kitchen professionally cleaned (for reasons of sanitation, not status, trust me) evaporated into thin air within 48 hours of the spiffy white van leaving my driveway. As moms, we’re supposed to be building lives, but nothing stays “built.”
I think this is why I knit. When I knit, it stays “knitted” until I take it out (which generally means I’ve made a whopping mistake). Even one stitch is a stitch that wasn’t there before and stays where it ought to. I think it’s why women—especially moms—are drawn to crafts. Even if our motherhood is never finished, our crafts stand of chance of making it to the finish line. Well, half of them. Okay, thirty percent, maybe.
The heroine of my latest novel, Janet in Bluegrass Courtship, builds birdhouses for much the same reason. The miniature completeness of them is her best weapon against a life that was torn up against her will. The human kind of remodeling can be as stressful as the structural kind. And any of us who have survived a major renovation project knows that tearing down a wall often shows you the ugly stuff behind it (both in houses and souls). I love that Janet builds tiny houses while the book’s hero, TV renovation show star Drew Dawson, demolishes big ones. The complete each other—only like most good romances, it takes them the entire book to figure that out. The woman in me understands the birdhouse-builder in her.
So if you’re a mom and your life is full of things that won’t stay put—or well, or clean, or stay at all—don’t dismiss your need to create. Wield it. Even ten minutes of knitting or scrapbooking or quilting is a daily dose of strength to fight the chaos. A toehold to keep us going one more day. Because if you ask me, the birdhouses are just as important as the big houses.
Allie Pleiter’s books can be found at www.alliepleiter.com while her knitting can be found at destiKNITions.blogspot.com. She’s still trying to find where her sanity can be found…
The celebrity host of TV’s Missionnovation, Drew Downing is comfortable with his fame. He’s become accustomed to the cheering, star-struck townfolk that usually welcome him as he renovates churches countrywide. Usually. Then he and his crew set up in tiny
From RTBookreviews Magazine:
“Four Stars--With some delightfully humorous moments, Pleiter delivers an appealing romance as well as a story filled with interesting characters”