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Irish Rose Art - Art, Music, Photos and Musings on Nature, Beauty, Things I See and Enjoy

All Photos and Art Work Copyright Sharon Gunn McMahon

Thursday, June 3, 2010

On Being Mama

Quilt in Process Dau 1
So much for posting yesterday - the celebrations took me in different directions than I'd planned. But all directions are good and I enjoyed every minute from the roses and lotions to the piano serenade to the Iron Man II movie with the boys... (I didn't remember movies being so LOUD!!)

I've been Mama for a long time. So long that its hard to remember not being Mama. I had 2 kids, one at a time. I have 3 more kids now that I got all at once. I have loved being Mama and I treasure having that "title." The mistakes I've made make me cringe, but the kids make me smile. I love them all and I sometimes forget I didn't give birth to them all. Mamas do anything they can for their kids, but they cant change the mistakes they made. I wish I could. I would take away the hurtful things that happened and the wrong decisions. I would put bandaids on all wounds - physical, mental, and emotional.

My friend has 7 kids. She got them all one at a time, but the last two came as a pair. Sometimes I watch her knee and hip deep in kids, her whole kitchen full of them (and a couple of them aren't even in there) and I wonder how she does it! I wonder if she even has time to know and contemplate that no one else has her title "Mommy" in that family. "Mommy" typed in as a player name on her Wii game - it is simple, but so significant to every one of those kids. The only "Mommy" they will ever know.

As kids, we never think about our moms or their influence - why we do and think the way we do, but a lot of it has to do with our moms, how they raised us, and the fact that they would do anything they could for us.

Some moms continue this to the next generation - like when my grandmother made 4 of us girls quilts for our weddings - and we got married in rapid succession! Three of us in the same year and 1 shortly after. She made them in the Dutch Doll pattern. She made them from the fabric we gave her and the colors we selected. Some may have fared better than mine. The muslin gave way to the polyester thread - which I have now learned is normal. (The reason I don't use polyester thread on cotton fabric). The dutch dolls, which she called Sunbonnet Sue are all intact. Some are made of polyester knit - probably will never deteriorate. The scraps are probably still intact in some land fill this 30+ years later. The quilt is a mess, but it is treasured and stored in my cedar chest. It is too worn to use, but I still love it.

And knowing that us moms will do anything for our kids, when my older daughter asked me to make a quilt for her wedding, of course I said yes. Never mind that I had only made one quilt in my life! It was about 3 feet by 4 feet, a 9-patch I learned how to do in 4th grade. I stitched it on the machine until it came to the quilting. Then I gave up and tied it. Don't know where it is now, but my mother had it for a long time.

So in the spring of 2008 she says "So, could you make me a quilt for my wedding?" and I say "yes" and here I am. I have a 100" quilt frame strung across our tiny living room with a quilt on it. I started machine piecing the quilt starting in the summer, tossed the whole thing and started a wedding ring quilt by hand. My machine is just not capable of stitching straight seams (or is it me?). The piecing was finished fairly quickly. That's when I realized it would be too big for me to machine quilt. Not that my machine could do it... We set up the frame around March 2009. It took the hubby and the 3 kids still at home to get it all lined up and rolled onto the frame. And I've been quilting it ever since. I chose a much-tighter-than-necessary quilting design that I pulled out of my head, and it is taking a long time. But that's ok, because we have time. (well, I do). Older daughter is impatient, Younger daughter wants it out of the living room, the boys are tired of tripping over it, but all 5 kids know that as soon as it is done, the next quilt is started for Older son. Then Middle son, Younger daughter and Youngest son. Everybody gets one, because that's just the way moms are - and Mama is especially that way.

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