I really love to knit. It’s something I picked up when I was in the final months of writing my dissertation, something to calm my spinning mind and restless hands. It’s in my blood really; my grandmother and aunt in England both tried to teach me numerous times, but it wasn’t until the stress threatened to eat me alive that I finally bought my own needles and yarn and, under the helpful tutelage of my friend and fellow graduate student Liz, began to knit. And the thing I love to knit more than anything is a blanket, specifically a baby blanket – I’ve knit several (okay, a couple are crocheted).
But lately, I’ve had the urge, actually I feel almost driven, to knit a blanket for a baby born decades ago. You see, there is a little girl inside of me, and when I had my own little girl nine years ago, this little one inside of me came roaring to the surface, needing to be heard. And the thing she wants most, besides having a voice and wanting to be heard, is a blankie. So I am listening to her.
I have not always listened. For most of my life, I felt that talk about the inner child was psychological gobbledy-gook. All of that psychobabble, mumbo-jumbo, self-help nonsense left me cold. When a concept becomes used and over used—in the media, on talk shows—it comes to feel like a cliché, even if it’s not.
Of course, then I went on to study serious psychology in grad school and got further confirmed in my belief to not believe in all that stuff. What a great defense! What a perfect wall to build up around myself so as to avoid feeling. (See my earlier post about Metaphors and The Sound of Silence.) Meanwhile, underneath it all, there was still that inner child, that little girl who holds my heart and allows me to feel deeply – all the way down to the depth of my soul.
Luckily, the universe interceded, amazing and powerful women came into my life to enlighten me. One of these women, Mira, looked me in the eye, all the way down deep into my soul, and said “there’s a little girl in there, lost and alone and distrustful – YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO HER.” And so, with help, I did and still do. Here’s the song that brought that little girl out, to begin to trust me again: How Could Any One Ever Tell You?
And what does she tell me? This little one knows a hell of a lot more about little girls than I do, and she has shared this wisdom and made me a much better parent. She also reminded me that deep joy and deep sadness share something important: to feel one I have to be open to feel the other, I have to be open to my heart. Oh, and don’t forget, too, that silliness and dancing around like a loon are as vital to me as breathing. And one more thing: it is not enough to knit beautiful blankets for the kids in my life. When I am lonely and sad and need comfort – I WANT MY BLANKIE!!!
This is the one I am making for her, square by square (I’m on my 7th!):
What does your inner child want, need, crave from you? Click here to contact me to talk about how we can work together to hear from your inner little girl or boy. I promise you – it will be worth it!
P.S. Just for fun and heart, watch this flash mob which to me illustrates the power of knitting.
Here is the YouTube description: “Since 1955, Loes Veenstra has knitted over 550 sweaters and stored them in her home on the 2nd Carnissestraat in Rotterdam. The sweaters have never been worn. Until today.” I am in complete awe of this woman!