Wednesday, 28 November 2012


wack·y  (wk) also whack·y (hwk, wk)
adj. wack·i·er also whack·i·erwack·i·est also whack·i·est Slang
1. Eccentric or irrational: a wacky person.
2. Crazy; silly: a wacky outfit.

There is this wonderful get together in the Southside of Glasgow that goes by the name of StitchUp. It's all about sewing and related stuff, upcycling, making and mending and sharing skills. It happens once a month and my big girl loves it. Recently, there's a weekly StitchUp specifically aimed at families which runs weekly after school. Normally, I wouldn't be able to make it, but luckily I've ended up with a lot of annual leave at the end of the year and have managed a few sneaky short days to take Cubling to her favourite sewing cafe.

The funniest thing is, she never ever actually does any of the projects on offer. And more often than not, I wondered why on earth she loves it so much when she doesn't actually engage with what's on offer in any conventional way.
If there's pin cushions, she makes random concoctions of fabric.
If there's sock monkeys, she decorates her fingers with a skirt and draws a smiley face on her fingertips.
If there's weaving/french knitting/pompoms she'll sew a button on a piece of elastic.

Above all, she loves the sewing machine. It's a bit of a version of what I guess a racing car or Scelectrics is for boys. Ahem, or some girls, those things were definitely on my favourite toys ever list. But I digress. She won't actually sew anything normal on the sewing machine, but quite likes to create lines and make shapes with them, or knot things together to create a fish on a fishing line.

Sometimes, I get impatient or feel like her refusal to engage with ideas put to her is a personal rejection. But more and more I've been learning to sit back, relax and appreciate her out of the box thinking, her true creativity that doesn't follow the norm or what people say she should be making. Her creativity is not one that works within boundaries, but one which is free of boundaries. Maybe it's the creativity of any child, where the world is full of potential and not yet boxed into right and wrong. Maybe she is a rebel in the making.

Today, while I was making a sock monkey as was expected from me, I secretly watched her focus on making the wackiest creations with fabric scraps, stuffing, bands and buttons. And I starte to envy her for the passion and determination in creating something totally her own, for going her own way regardless of any expectations around her. I no longer felt apologetic for my wacky girl, or out of sync with her actions, but felt a sense of admiration growing inside of me.

I was reminded of a poem, Markings by Seamus Heaney, where he likens child's play to the power of the imagination where boundaries are created and then allowed to be passed. The poem celebrates this  freedom of child's play, which is not directed towards a purpose but optional, and which is a metaphor for the creative freedom of the poet to challenge the world as it is perceived:

It was quick and constant, a game that never need
Be played out. Some limit had been passed, 

There was fleetness, furtherance, untiredness 
In time that was extra, unforeseen and free. 

And so I am challenged by my daughter to question my expectations on her and my own limitations of my mind formed by so many other expectations that were imposed on me. Through her I can see a glimpse of freedom and possibility that otherwise would have remained unknown.

1 comment:

Penny said...

Upcycling - I hadn't heard that before, I know I don't get out much, my new favourite word.



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