My Abuelita would tell me that at the age of two her great-aunts showed her how to knit and crochet. My Granmo told me that when she was three years old, her grandmother Eulalia would sit beside her and give her something to embroider. August has been curious when she has seen me sew, knit or crochet. However, it wasn't until we were cutting through an aisle of the craft store that she stopped me and said,"Mommy, I want to do that!" She was pointing to the wooden embroidery hoops and floss.
"How do you know about this, August?" She didn't answer and continued to jump and excitedly point to the hoops saying only "This, this, this!" While I own embroidery supplies I have not worked on anything in five years and she hadn't even seen my supplies because I haven't unpacked them. We had seen photos of completed pieces on Instagram and I thought maybe this was her introduction.
She picked out floss and I chose the smallest wooden hoop. Once we got home she wanted to begin right away. I cut some canvas from my stash and showed her how to place it in the frame. Then she threaded the embroidery needle with her little hands and we began. I could feel myself melting into the couch. It was relaxing watching her carefully and slowly take the needle in and out of the fabric. I also felt a connection to the long line of women who had brought us to this moment.
I had to take photos because I didn't know when she'd want to do this again. Her first embroidery project. It lasted thirty minutes or so. When she felt the project was complete, we put it away but I kept returning to it. I even carried it in my purse during a week of errands just because. She asked for her embroidery bag again and I showed her how to make little stitches and she enthusiastically worked on that. With each stitch she gave herself encouragement. I took photos to print and send to my Granmo.
My Granmo showed me some baby clothes she had made for my father one summer. They were simple pieces made from white cotton muslin. I asked her how she made the elegant designs on the front of each piece and she showed me how to pull thread. The next day she had a piece of white cotton fabric and showed me an easy pattern. I know how to pull thread. It doesn't feel good knowing how to do something then never using that skill or passing it on.
Its been a month and she hasn't asked to embroider. She has been asking me for a sewing machine. I have been working on her Halloween costume. She'd pick up the scraps and sit under the table while I sewed on my machine and she sewed using her pretend machine made of blocks. I remember doing this beside my mother while she sewed.