Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Trouble the Water

Mia was assigned a project back in December to make a teddy bear, which of course means that I was assigned a project to make her a teddy bear. This is a annual part of 4K. Every kid crafts a teddy bear with their family. They can use any fabric they want, but it's suggested that the fabric be something with sentimental value. I knew the project was coming and put it off as long as possible. I can't sew a stitch. Seriously. In Junior High Home Ec., the teacher promised me a B for the semester if I promised never to touch another one of her sewing machines. I had already sent three of them to the repair shop. The shorts that I made in the class fell down around my ankles on my first lap around the gym in class (there were no doors on one side of the gym, just openings to the hallway), I couldn't figure out exactly how to insert the elastic in the waist. This lack of sewing skill seems to be genetic. My mother is better than I am, but not by much.

The teddy bear was due at school by February 10th. I went to Mom's on bended knee begging for help on Feb 1st. Mom saves EVERYTHING, so I knew we could find just the perfect fabric there. And we did: a 25 year old red velvet bathrobe that Mom didn't wear anymore, plus a scrap of lace for a collar. God bless mothers, especially mine. She spent hours putting together the bear, with Mia for help. I was home sick the actual night of creation, so when she called me and warned me to prepare myself because it wasn't great, I kind of panicked. Like I said, Mom and I don't sew, so our expectations are low to start with. If Mom thought it was a disaster, I didn't know what I was going to do. Fifteen minutes later, Mia came racing in the house with her bear; she was head over heels in love with it, and I think it looks great. Mia loves it so much that when she had to leave it at school the next day, she was heartbroken. All of the teddy bears were placed in the display case near the office, and she was just finally able to bring it home today. While she has a lot of stuffed animals, I think this is one that will always remain extra special. She helped to create it with her own hands along with her always patient grandmother, and it's all the better because her mother (and all ten of her thumbs) didn't touch it until it was finished. By the way, the bear's name is Christy, and I am, of course, honored.

Trouble the Water by Nicole Seitz is a multi-layered story about the love between sisters and the power of God's healing love. Honor is rescued from a suicide attempt by several nannies in South Carolina's Low Country. Miss Blondell, an elderly Gullah woman, takes Honor under her wing and puts her in local dingbat Duchess' home. Duchess is known for her flirtatious antics with the men and showing her sixty year body in all its naked glory. Honor and Duchess make for an odd mix. Both suffer from depression and acting out, but each look at the placement as God's way of using them to help care for others. The story is told through several different points of view. Honor and Duchess each take turns telling their story, but Honor's sister Alice also gets a turn, as do Honor's letters to Alice. Honor is truly the heart of the story, but her chapters aren't the ones that tell you the most about her. It's the chapters from Alice and Duchess that really expose Honor for who she is: the angel who troubles the waters for their healing. Seitz writes this achingly beautiful story of healing and forgiveness with compassion and just enough humor to take the edge off of the sweetness.

Molly's going to pick up her prom dress this weekend. She was asked by three different juniors, but said yes to Shawn. I'm excited and worried for her all at the same time. More details to come!