Monday, October 7, 2013

Green Lantern and the Lantern Corps Quilt - Mission Complete.

After many months (23 to be precise), the quilt is finally complete.
Here's the story.......
In November 2011, I decided that my daughter (who had just started her senior year in high school) needed a quilt with the symbols of the 9 lanterns. She has now just begun her sophomore year in college and it is finally on her bed. 
I have been thinking about why it has taken me so long to complete it.  The total time spent cutting and stitching and quilting, if I strung it all together, would add up to 2 weeks or so of actual concentrated work.  Why the prolonged procrastination?  What was my deal? 
I could give you all the specs.  The size of the bocks, how I appliqued the symbols, the fabrics I used etc., etc.  But, the more I think about it, the more I think that the real story of this quilt isn't so much about the quilt itself, but about why it took so long to finish it. 
 I have come to understand a couple things about myself as I get older (and wiser - I hope).  Although I am sometimes resistant to change and would rather not say goodbye  (It took me a couple days to read the majority of Harry Potter 7, but it took a couple weeks-  at least - of avoiding the book before I could read through to the end), given enough time to get over it, I can let go, eventually.
Although I didn't see it until just recently, this quilt became the tangible embodiment of my (initially) unsurfaced anxiety about becoming an "empty nester".   
A chapter was ending.  I couldn't pretend my little girl was still little.  I had to let her go off to the big city and let make her start down her own path.  I told myself and others that I was okay with it.  That this was part of life.  The whole point of parenting is to eventually let your little bird fly from the nest.  I really did feel excited and happy for her to be starting her own adventures.  I really did accept the logic of stepping back and letting her make decisions about what she wanted her future to be. 
I could do this - put on a fairly brave face so she would know it was okay for her to want to explore the world - because I would transfer my anxiety to this quilt.  There was so much that I had to do, whether I wanted to or not.  I had to move her up to school so far away, I had to try not to worry (but still worried) about her being alone in a big sometimes dangerous city, I had to trust that she could make all the smart choices I knew she capable of.   I had to accept all the changes.
But, I could ignore the quilt.  I could roll it up and set it aside.  I could work on it or not - mostly not.  There was nothing I HAD to do.  I got to decide. And if I wanted to make a selfish decision of not working on it when I probably should have been, I could.  And I did.
For everything I had to do, and every step I had to take in the last two years that was hard but necessary, this quilt was there when I needed something about my life to stand still.  I could play the ostrich and stick my head in the sand with this quilt.   
And it is finished now.  So I suppose I am over it?  Some of it.  As I said...I eventually get around to letting go of my "hang ups".  I am still just as worried about her.  Still sometimes wish she was little again.  But she has grown into such a beautiful, smart young lady now, and we are only on like chapter 2 or 3.  It will take the next 50 years or more, but can't wait to read this book all the way through to the end. 

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