There is no denying the fact that I am an older mum. I was 38 when I had Samuel and 42 when Lydia arrived. As a result I am very conscious of the age difference between myself and my children. This normally manifests itself in how tired I feel! They say that you become more aware of the passing of time as you get older and I have found that to be very true. I have this urge to make the most of everything and to try new experiences. What has become increasingly important to me is in creating memories that will live on as my family folklore. I have a real desire to create those “do you remember” moments for my children for when I am long gone.
I have always been a fairly creative person and in the past few years my main activity has been crochet! That is for grannies I hear you smirk! But I think crochet (and the same can be said for knitting) is making a comeback. I hope to teach my daughter to knit as my Mum taught me. But, I taught myself to crochet.
I find it very therapeutic. When I crochet I can’t think of anything else – just the pattern and the shape that is evolving under my hands as I work. It is also so quick and easy to make up. I have had far more success with crochet than I ever had with knitting apart from the 1970’s style poncho I made my sister (not sure why she never wears it!).
When I was seven, a friend of my mother’s made me a Christmas stocking. It is something that I treasure and that I have used for the past 40 years. It is red and has my name embroidered in gold on the side and is something that I will never part with. When my sister and I were about 13 and my brother 10 we made our Mum a Christmas stocking. We made it out of a spare sock and the felt patches that you used to get in the game of Twister. Mum knew nothing about it until we hung it up for her Christmas morning. Like my own stocking it is something that she treasures and will not have replaced.
There is something very special about having a handmade Christmas stocking. That is the reason why I taught myself to crochet with the intent of making my children and my niece a beautiful stocking each. I am actually very proud of the result. They may not be perfect but my pleasure on hearing my niece say that she “would treasure it forever” means that I achieved what I set out to. I then made my husband one in the shape of a carrot complete with beads for the hairy bits (the carrot not my husband!) one for my brother-in-law in the colours of the flag of his home country, and one each for the family dogs, plus the one for Lydia’s toy puppy (along with his special blanket!)
For me these are family moments to treasure and I get enormous enjoyment each year at Christmas when my family hang up the stockings that I have made.
So I hope in years to come when I too am but a memory, that my children will think of me and say “do you remember when Mum made our Christmas stockings”. Although knowing my luck it is more likely to be:
Samuel: “Lydia, do you remember that hideous poncho that Mum made Aunty”.
Lydia: “Yes Samuel, and she made one for me too!………….”
All stocking patterns from “Crocheted Christmas Stockings” by Grace Kaplan