Each member of the family in his own cell of consciousness, each making his own patchwork quilt of reality – collecting fragments of experience here, pieces of information there. From the tiny impressions gleaned from one another, they created a sense of belonging and tried to make do with the way they found each other.
Before I began making quilts, I would sometimes paint, and make cards and play with rubber stamps. I created this piece that now hangs on our bathroom wall and recounts the early days of family hood.
It says, “I will always remember the starfish of our bodies when we became more than we and our noses all touched in the middle.” It harkens to the simplicity of expansion and awakening that comes with a baby, ignoring the burden of the new reality that part of my heart would forever now be walking outside of my body. (Insert nod of gratitude to author, Elizabeth Stone, for this vision I will always cherish.)
I remember when my daughter was little and she spent the day away with her Bubbe and came home saying “sea star” to describe what I had my entire life called a star fish. It was a pivotal moment in which I realized that she had grown beyond the scope of my influence alone, that she was now a virtually independent creature in the world, absorbing information from every and any source, and I was struck that I could no longer protect her. It took me only moments to soon revel in the blessings inherent in this growth, that she would have the influence of her extended family, of wonderful teachers, of significant relationships that extended beyond the Mommy and Me bond we had created, but in that moment, I felt loss and fear. I felt a looming sense of dread that the world of sea stars might engulf her and she’d never return to the starfish of our bodies when we became three and our noses all touched in the middle.
Years later, this same child is my official color consultant, my top notch editor, my cheerleader and my critic. She has made her own way boldly into the world and returns daily, with her gleanings to celebrate, critique, question and ponder. Her sister and father also venture out into the big world daily, returning with their own harvests of influence and experience, playing new music, sharing a fact learned about the ancient Egyptians or a story of a smoker who has lung cancer but can’t stop smoking. I show them my website and how the banner color changed and wonder if anyone cares, and ask them to edit my latest flyer advertising an event I’ve dreamed up. Sometimes our interests seem disparate, our daily lives as unique from each other as that of living in four separate worlds. Yet, we make dinner and eat the dinner, we come together to discuss the recent discoveries of science and the latest circus tricks, and then divide to conquer Facebook in our separate corners of the house and forget to walk the dog again.