I recently read a post from a blogger who said that she never speaks of her donation quilts, because doing so would mean that she’s doing the donation work for her own glory and not for the glory of charity. She learned this from her Grandmother, who gave selflessly and silently.
I couldn’t help but pause and think about my own donation work and me banging on and on about it. And, was I drawing the glory of the donation to myself? Was that wrong?
I realized that’s not why I talk about what I donate, quilts or cash. I had to think about why I talk about it and whether what I say about it is wrong.
First, I had to realize that when I talk about my Linus quilts, I’m not saying, hey, look at me, I’m a really great guy, I make Linus quilts. When I talk about my Linus quilts, I talk about what I’m working on, which is what I always do on my blog, and what I happen to be working on a lot this year is a group of Linus quilts. Ten of them. My commitment to me.
And, second, I talk about my Linus quilts to find other people that are also making donation quilts, so we can share that special feeling that comes from doing so. And, I talk about them to bring attention to Linus.
And, third, I don’t think that whoever is judging whether good works are good enough or done in the right spirit actually cares whether I bragged about a quilt or not. I think that judge cares about that warm child that wraps up in one of my donation quilts, and that’s all. Period. My willingness to reach out and give a comfort to someone I’ll never see or know.
I realized that what she does is right for her. And, what I do is right for me. And, we don’t have to feel the same about it to both continue to do good works.
So, with that said, here is January; the fish quilt.
For me, this quilt really went south in a hurry. I’m not loving the layout. It’s nice, but it’s not my usual work. There’s not enough variety. This was the first pattern I started making for Linus; large blocks of color coordinated fabric that I could finish quick. But, these blocks just don’t turn me on anymore. I think it’s time to ramp up my patterns for Linus. I certainly enjoyed piecing the more complex I Spy quilt than I did this quilt. And, the next quilt, in the planning stages now, is a more complex design built from a need to use up some orphan blocks and change them from something ugly to something wonderful.
The fish also didn’t turn out as wonderful as I thought they would.
The whole quilt is quilted with columns of fish, all swimming in the same direction. I think the thing I don’t like about them is that they barely show up, but they were a lot more work than I wanted them to be. That much work should show.
Anyway, there’s me, going on and on about how this quilt doesn’t pass muster for me. But, I tried new things and that’s how I learn and while I would like it to have turned out better, I still managed to make a pretty cool teen sized quilt.
Another thing I’m always banging on about is how normal my family is. You guys have gotta understand. Nobody is more surprised about this than me. All my life, being gay was abnormal, or so I was told, so finding that a steady and strong relationship that includes a child when the couple is gay is just like a steady and strong relationship that includes a child when the couple is straight is always a bit of a surprise for me.
You may remember that last Friday was parent’s night at the game. And, you’ll likely remember that I was nervous about it. But, the night turned out so normal, it could have been right out of a TV sitcom.
All the parents and their girls lined up in order and we all paraded onto the court in a very long curved line. We were about 6th in line. The coach went down the line and called each girl and her parent or grandparent or aunt or uncle or older sibling, or whoever that girl was grateful to for making basketball happen for them this year. As she called the name, the group was supposed to step out and as she called the next name, they were supposed to step back. She called Sydney’s name and said that “Sydney is accompanied by her two dad’s…” Okay, maybe it was just me and my nerves, but I’d swear that there was more applause for us than for anyone before us in that line and more than for most of the girls later in the line. Why? I don’t know. But, many of the parents in the stands were from the opposing team. They didn’t know us from Adam and Steve. Maybe it didn’t even happen. But, it felt like a real acknowledgment of the courage it took to step out there.
And, then it happened. That embarrassing TV moment.
Rob and Sydney stepped back and I was left out in front of the crowd alone, looking around in amazement at what I was feeling. And, then I felt a gentle tug on my shirt as Sydney pulled me back in line.
And, everyone laughed.
It was one of those surreal moments that you’d think would have to be planned and staged. But it wasn’t. It was our real life.
And, it was great. I was not being laughed at. I was being laughed with. Laughed with because it was funny. Not because it was wrong or embarrassing. But, because it was funny. And, people will remember how normal and funny it was somewhere way back in the back of their mind. Maybe it will soften a prejudice. Maybe it will just be a funny story to tell at a dinner one night. Or maybe it will just be stored as a normal, routine event in the life of parents everywhere. I know I’ll never forget.
Be well. Have a great Wednesday. Yesterday was Sydney’s MRI. We’ll get the results tomorrow. That’s when the fun begins.