Joy in What You Lack

I've been noticing that my slightly angst-ridden teenager could use some experiencing and some wisdom that her schooling has been lacking.  I admit that I leave a lot of teaching up to the school system, and I haven't  had any beefs with the teaching up to this point, but  her words and actions are still very narrow-minded and contradictary to what's going on around her.  So I've been asking myself what will she need to know to stand up for herself and people less fortunate than her.  What will she need to know to make good decisions and choices?  What will she need to know to feel good about herself?    I also don't want her to believe everything I say because I don't want her to believe everything everyone else says either.   I guess I will need to tell her that there are always lots of perspectives and to listen to all of them.  Nothing is black and white or simple.  Maybe we'll talk about digging deeper before coming to conclusions.   Maybe we'll talk about what people gain or lose from what they are saying and doing.  She's a book smart kid.  She's very sensitive.  She also wants to fit in.  What teenager doesn't?   I really want her to be resilient.  I want her to be empathetic.  I want her to be happy.  I'm not sure what I'm trying to say here.  I guess I just had a lightbulb moment, and I feel like I have a huge job ahead that I'm thinking could turn the dread of raising a teenager into something I might actually enjoy.  I say 'enjoy' because I have no doubt that I will learn a thing or two myself.  I'm feeling very hopeful.

Anyway, last night, I started with just spending some one-on-one time with her and sharing some simple skills and even learning together.  We sewed a little dress.  She sewed all the straight seams, and she even did the gathering stitch around the top edge of the skirt which I had never done before, so I was floored when she figured it all out by herself.   It took us a good amount of time, but we exercised a good amount of patience and humour. :)   I checked the errata afterwards as I was a bit disappointed with the width of the bodice.  It was much too small for our skinny 7-year old family member, and yet it noted that it would fit an 8-year old.  Well, the errata included instructions to widen the bodice which we had figured out already for our next attempt.  Regardless, we have a very pretty and sweet dress for a 4-year old.   And I've already begun to measure out a pattern that will fit our Bumblebee.  And after that?   We are going to make the trapeze dress for El.   And then I want a kimono dress.  So we have our work cut out for ourselves.  Literally and figuratively.


N

8 comments:

orangeheromama said...

Hey N!
Just wanted you to know that i'm still here! I somehow missed like 4 postings on here?! WHAT?!
I think the sidebar on my blog was messing up..who knows..

OzB said...

N, I applaud your wisdom in teaching your teen a thing or two about life that doesn't come from a book, but from lessons learned along the way.

A Road Less Travelled - great book.

I hope you guys bond and grow and learn together.

PS. Love the little dress!

LaurieM said...

It is an adorably sweet dress.

You've been teaching all those lessons to her since she was born. Children learn far more from your example than anything else. Every time you've been resilient, thoughtful, stood up for someone, you've shown her how. It's one of those scary mixed blessing things...

Lori said...

What a great way to spend time with and learn from each other! Really sweet dress too.

knitty_kat said...

I wish I was 4! It's adorable!

~RaenWa~ said...

Some of the best things we learn are from our parents. I think its great that you 2 spent some time together. The dress is pretty.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

Very cute dress. Please send over some girl vibes!! xo

Barbara from Nova Scotia said...

I will be living with 2 teens within the next 2 years. I can only hope that I've set the groundwork for those trying times ahead, and that we will keep growing closer while they figure out those very things you mentioned. No matter the wisdom we share with them, they will be the ones to experience those growing pains. I promise to repeat to myself often : "patience is a virtue!"