This Is About Knitting (Really)
May 13, 2007
Hope you and Hubbo disco’d your little hearts out last night. (And by “disco”, I mean “disco”.) I didn’t know you then, but I did know the bride when she used to rock and roll, because you still rock and roll. Carefully. How old was Jack White in 1990, by the way?
For Mother’s Day weekend, Hubby gave me the gift of sitting in my chair, knitting and typing about knitting, with the occasional break to block some knitting, for two solid days. In utter solitude until this evening, when I do hope to be feted in brief but festive style. Wandering into the kitchen for some chair-sitting juice (coffee) this afternoon, I saw this mug.
This is the Mug of Despair. It has survived several Great Mug Purges, in which all of the novelty and advertising ugly kitsch mugs were sent packing because they were Bringing Down the General Tone. (Hubby’s place of employment being an egregious offender. A very mug-happy firm.) This mug, which was as ugly as the rest of them (don’t be fooled by the picture–pictures make things cuter than they actually are), escaped. For one thing, we have a babysitter who adopted this mug as her favorite, as one does, for irrational reasons having nothing to do with aesthetic mug merit. But really I think I’ve kept this mug because it has a story. (Brace for story. You’ve heard this one, but not from the mug’s perspective.)
On Mother’s Day 2002, I was at the beginning of the worst (and weirdly, best) two weeks of my life so far. The night before, Carrie, then 5, had been laid low with an infection that had started as pneumonia, and she was in intensive care. I was glassy-eyed with worry, confusion, and trying to be an effective advocate without appearing desperate (the concern about appearing desperate evaporating almost as quickly as grooming). At some point a kind person pushed me down the hall into the pediatric play room. Because it was Mother’s Day, and they were trying to celebrate it, and they had food there. So I went in, and ate something, and felt worse seeing all the braver mothers and the mothers with kids less sick than mine, and we were all given these mugs, nicely wrapped, as Mother’s Day presents. I pretty much hated this mug at first sight. It could have been Sevres porcelaine and I would have hated it. What a stupid idea, to think they could make us feel better with a stupid mug at such a time.
But you see, I have kept the dang mug. My kid got better. And now it is the Mug of Renewal of Hope and the Mug of Learning Things You Are Glad To Know Although You Wish You Hadn’t Had To Learn.
How this is about knitting, is that sometimes when somebody (like you and I, for example) starts a drive to knit blankets for people in an overwhelming situation, my first reaction is “what a stupid idea to think they could make them feel better with a stupid blanket.” (My inner voice does sound a lot like Napoleon Dynamite. Gosh! Idiots!) But the Mug of Human Gestures of Kindness begs to differ. It somehow does make a difference. And a knitted blanket is a whole lot better than a mug, I gotta say. (No offense to mug-givers out there. I really appreciate the mug. I am not letting go of this mug.) Whatever it is, it’s somebody putting something in your hand and saying, here, this is all I could think of and I hope it helps you.
The Mug of Wisdom would like to remind everyone that the deadline for Afghans for Afghans’ campaign for baby blankets for new mothers is May 25, and the address and all the details can be found here.
Happy Mother’s Day!