An email arrived the other day from the parenting magazine, Cookie, suggesting the book, Sandcastles Made Simple, accompanied by the photo you see above. Now I don’t know about your children, but mine prefer to destroy their small towers of sand seconds after construction. Can you imagine a toddler patiently watching while her parent follows instructions to build a replica of Cinderella’s castle on the beach? I can’t.
It’s not that I’m opposed to a creative challenge, but building a sandcastle that is made of more than a bucket of wet sand is not in the cards for this mama. Besides, I’m too busy fretting over the pile of unfinished projects I have accumulated since starting a beginner’s sewing class a month ago. I signed up thinking it would be nice to learn how to make skirts for Lauren and I, and a few handmade gifts for the holidays. But even as I write this, I realize I must have been delusional—perhaps in the same haze Cookie’s editors seem to be under.
I was more nervous for the first day of sewing class than my first day of graduate school. I worried I’d be the class f*** up—the sole individual who demands all of the teacher’s attention. Fortunately, on the first night, my fears were put to rest. Another woman’s 60 year-old sewing relic, sorry, machine, was literally smoking, so our instructor spent most of the class helping her.
Now, with 5 weeks under my belt, it is clear that I am the slowest in the class (I’m talking 80 year-old grandmother slow), and there hasn’t been a week that has gone by when I don’t ask myself, what am I doing here?
But let’s concentrate on the positive: I have learned a lot about myself. For example, among other surprises, I can’t cut a straight line. And I can’t sew in a straight line either. I’m horrible at listening to directions—especially when distracted by more pressing issues, like threading the needle on my machine. I have also learned that I need a lot of handholding. In fact, a step–by-step instruction guide like Sandcastles Made Simple with a sewing bent might be just the thing.
To help, the teacher has started drawing blue lines on my fabric. She even placed a little piece of tape on my machine to guide me while sewing. All of this special attention is a little embarrassing.
Even with added assistance and an incredible display of patience from my instructor, I have not been able to complete any of the projects. I’m envious of the satisfaction on my classmates’ faces when they finish a pillowcase, a cute tote bag or a buttonhole for their wallets.
Maybe I’m overly ambitious for a mom of two children. And maybe that’s Cookie magazine’s problem, too. The editors want to believe their readers can do it all, and who can fault them for that? I’m just as guilty, even more so, because I am already determined to kick my sewing machine’s butt.