Knitting For Mom

Mom and my adorable niece Jackie

Someone asked me the other day: "So, Sandi, what are you knitting for your mom for Mother's Day?" A bit of guilty silence ensued. The embarrassing truth is, I've spent hours and hours knitting for babies, for cancer survivors, for friends, for my husband…but my own mother has not had a hand-knit gift from me in years. So perhaps instead of the stories I was going to tell you about other people's moms and their knitting, it would be more fitting to talk about the mom I know best: my own.

Knitters, meet Martha, my mom. Mom, meet all the knitters.

My mother is definitely deserving of the time, energy, and yarn it would take to knit her something. The problem is more than I cannot come up with something to knit which would be worthy of HER. How do you knit for a woman who has taught you what beauty is, the many faces of patience, and how to say something really wacky at the darkest of moments? What do you knit that could ever say "thank you" for putting up with me when I was a teenager (don't ask), for raising two girls as a single mom before her beloved Bill came into her life, for all the homemade cookies she had ready for us after school, for the salmon lemon-jello aspic (again,
don't ask) that was completely and utterly inedible but which has provided so much laughter when remembered over the years?

How do you knit for a woman like that?

Looking at the intricate stitches of the lace shawl I started for her, I realize that (as usual) I am trying too hard. I am trying to instill all the gratefulness I feel for my mother into a single piece of knitting. I want this shawl be the perfect gift for my mom, the iconic piece of knitting that will speak what words cannot. I want thousands of tiny lace stitches that say "Thank you;" I want the finest hand-dyed silk to say "I love you."

Mom, however, wants a warm pair of socks. Her feet get cold. Cozy, knitted socks would make her happy. She would show them to all her friends, and wear them every night while she sleeps. So I have to ask myself: Why am I trying to knit a super-hero shawl when what Mom really wants is a pair of socks?

Mom, in honor of the heart that raised me to be the woman I am, I am casting on a warm pair socks for you. The silk shawl will be done someday, but you shouldn't have to wait for your heart's desire when you have spent your life teaching me to find mine.

— Sandi




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