Brilliant things mums give kids

There’s no pictures in this post I’m afraid, but I hope you’ll read it anyway – especially if you’re a mum.

I was tatting on the train on the way home from work tonight, thinking about things to make. My mind wondered to hair accessories – and then to a hairslide my mum made for me when I was little. What a hairslide! I loved it.

As a child I always had my hair in a bob. It was between chin and shoulder length, and quite ‘swishy’ – I’ve got very thick hair. One day my mum made me a special hairslide – I’m not sure what prompted that, now I think about it. It was platted in green and white cord across the top, stitched on to a flat metal hair slide, but with long pieces of cord that dangled into my hair, with beads on the end. Wait – I’ll draw it. Ignore the no pictures thing.

See what I mean? I can still feel it in my hair now. All dangly and brilliant. I thought it was the best thing ever. It WAS the best thing ever. It’s not the only thing my mum has ever made me of course.

She also made me dresses (when I was really little) an aran jumper (which she hated knitting, but was very well done), cakes and biscuits, a hot water bottle cover, cushions, some beautiful embroideries and lots of other things. (She also instilled the deep love of a good book).

Of course the very best thing she gave me, was her time.

We both enjoy crafty stuff, but mostly different crafty stuff. She does the most incredible embroidery, cross stitch, Hardanger and she’s really practical – so if there’s a need for a *thing* in fabric, she’ll figure a way to make it. Boxes, decorations, aprons, peg bags, iPod cases, that kind of thing. I’m not at all the same. I think I’m still working out what I like doing – tatting, for sure – and I’m liking learning to knit and use my sewing machine.

Growing up with a major part of my youth in the 80s, there was a real rejection of craft. Somehow, my family still had hobbies. I just grew up thinking that there was more to life than TV. Now I’m older, I can really appreciate what a gift that is to give to your children. I’m rarely bored – when I listen to friends who suddenly find them selves alone on a Saturday, or stuck in on a weeknight and forced to watch TV, I think how nice a spare evening to yourself sounds β€” a chance to *do* something! (Not to watch TV.)

So, Mum – thank you. Thank you for all the things you’ve made me, all the things I’ve made with your help, and all the things I’m thinking of making.

And apologies – for the lack of pictorial evidence, I just felt like posting this tonight.

12 thoughts on “Brilliant things mums give kids

  1. I love your wee illustration!

    We didn’t have a telly when I was growing up, and it really influenced me not to have one now that we’ve got Dragon.

    My mum made me an amazing Glenda the Good Witch crown out of cardboard and kitchen foil…for some reason it seemed to last for years without getting tatty. Part of me wants to ask if it was the same crown all those years, but I’m not sure I want to lose the magic!

  2. What a lovely article.
    I started to craft only about 10 years ago, mostly tatting and a little bit of sewing, clothes for my girls. Nowadays, I seldom watch television, prefering to work with my crafts instead. However, I can tat in front of the tv.

    • Hi Jon, thanks for your comment. I’m so glad you DID start tatting, because I really do appreciate your patterns. I crochet in front of the Tv actually – but we often only have low lighting, so it’s a bit too dark for tatting πŸ™‚

  3. I think the favourite thing my Mum gave me was her time and attention teaching me to read. Mum was an avid reader and, like your Mum, gave me the gift of book appreciation. I remember her and I matching words and pictures on the living room floor – I struggled with how to pronounce circus for quite some time. With her help I read all of the Peter and Jane and Kathy and Mark books and was always reading above my age grade through primary school. Reading her diaries from the 80s often mentions us sitting together reading our books.

    Time, and attention, are amongst the most precious gifts we can give.

  4. My Mum used to make our clothes when we were little so definitely got me into sewing. She used to let me use her machine and later bought me one as a present. I can understand why you loved your hair slide – what little girl wouldn’t love that? When I was working full time I was so worn out I didn’t have the energy to do anything but flop in front of the tv but I always needed something more to do in holidays and used to resort to reading. Now I can’t watch tv without doing something – thank god for crochet!!!

    • Ha! Snap. As I just mentioned to Jon up there, I do like to crochet in front of the tv. Maybe one day, when I can hold the needles in a slightly less bonkers fashion, I might even knit…

  5. A lovely story. My childhood was much the same. Knitting and sewing all around but really only functional creations. I was always encouraged to be making something as far back as I can remember. I’m so grateful for that too πŸ™‚

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