A few days ago I was stitching along when Lucy scooted up next to me and said "teach me." I was doing a fairly complex background stitch but I slowed down to show her how the stitches slanted to the right when working left to right and then to the left when working right to left. The needle skips a couple of "holes" to create longer stitches. "I want to do that. I want to do what you do."
Yesterday we stopped into our local store where they were having a trunk show of some lovely designs. Lucy picked out a Valentine canvas and lots of metallic thread. To my delight it was pink but I knew better than to say anything lest she change all the colors to black!
When returned home, I retrieved a practice canvas for her to review the basics of basket weave and continental stitch. She quickly remembered the stitches. We then settled into the day bed in the sewing room, turned on the Ott Lite, set up a pair of little scissors and a needle threader and got to work. With a needle in my hand, I directed her hands where to go. After a few stitches, she confidently began placing the thread on her own, in her own way. I gently guided her, reminding myself that this wasn't about the finished product, but about the process.
And it's also about continuing the legacy. I come from a long line of stitchers: Quilting, sewing, embroidery, beading, needlepoint. Every stitch I take, connects me with the women who came before me. By teaching Lucy, I am connecting her with them as well, sharing our secret language of stitching. She is communing with her past as well as creating memories for her future.
The stitch you take is in the past, but the product you make lasts into the future. Sharing our knowledge and skills is a gift we give to ourselves and our children.