Yesterday I was lucky enough to cook a birthday dinner for both my mother and grandmother. Mom turned 60 last Sunday and Grandma turned 88 today. I seem to have picked up Chris's virus so I didn't do much eating, but everyone else seemed to enjoy the food. We had a pretty good time. It amazes me that both of these vibrant women have reached the ages they are. Neither one looks her age.
In the course of the evening I showed Mom the fabric I'm using for Christine's quilt (on hold until I feel a bit better). Mom (for the second time in a month) wanted to know why I've made all these quilts for everyone except her. I tried giving her the same answer I used last weekend, "Don't ask questions," but it didn't go over well. Now she tells me that not only do I owe her a quilt, I have to let her approve the fabric. She doesn't want it "flowery."
First off, I have not made very many quilts. I made one for Chris, Miranda, Sam, Jake, Sophie, James, Pat, and I have a finished (but not sandwiched) top for Dave's Grandma Dirikson (sp?). I also made a baby quilt for my friend Jennifer and now I'm working on one for Christine. In the grand scheme of things- that is not a whole lot of quilts. Pat had surgery last fall and I wanted to make a quilt for her to enjoy during her recovery. Grandma Dirikson is always very kind to us- and she's not getting any younger! We've never sent her presents and rarely get to Burley to visit. A quilt is my way of letting her know we appreciate her.
My mother lives close enough I can see her house. Occasionally (like last weekend) we travel to rabbit shows together. I always buy or make her something for Christmas and her birthday. She is not generous with her time or affection. Before Sam was born she babysat Chris twice. After Sam's birth (6/22/2004) she's taken Chris for a few hours here and there 3 or 4 days during the year. She has never spent time alone with Sam or Jake. I'm not saying that my mother isn't a lovely person with many admirable traits- she's just not someone who makes me feel a deep gratitude for the help and comfort she brings to me and my family throughout the year. She does let me steal frozen pigs and rabbits out of her freezer when I need them for dissection. She also lets us borrow her pickup if we need it and bring it back full of gas. If the kids want to go visit and look at rabbits, or pygmy goats, or play with the donkey she'll let them... as long as they bring an adult and don't mind if she spends the time on her computer instead of playing.
I do have plans to make a quilt for Mom. I've been collecting fabric for a couple of years now. There still isn't enough fabric for her quilt. I have no intention of letting her choose what I'm making or the pattern I'll be following. That's not how the quilt giving works in my house. I make what I want you to have. You accept it and act pleased. If someone wishes to pay me for my time and effort then they can choose their own fabrics and tell me how they'd like the quilt finished. Otherwise, smile- nod- don't ask questions.