Made with Love

Day 210 of 365

When my son was a toddler, he had terrible night terrors. He slept with us and was always right next to me, but I frequently could not get him to wake up from the bad dreams. He would still be involved in the dream somehow, stuck between asleep and awake. Sometimes, they went on for minutes. 

When these first started happening, I was shocked every time I would wake up to his screaming or crying. Over time, especially when the terrors started lasting longer, I learned some strategies to help myself wake up, cope, and help him better. I also started listening to what he was saying, trying to make some sense of the gibberish. After a while, I started to wonder if he was really speaking gibberish. I used to teach linguistics, and there are certain features to sentences, a lyrical quality, highs and lows, and I realized I could hear those elements in his “gibberish.” I began to wonder if he was speaking a language; it sounded a little bit like an Eastern European language to me, but I am not nearly enough of a linguistic expert to do anything but guess. I began to wonder if I might try to record what he was saying, just to see, but then the night terrors mostly stopped, perhaps, in part, because I made a “good dream” quilt for him. 

The quilt making was a long process for me. It was the first quilt I had made in years and the most complicated quilt I had made in my life at that time. It was supposed to be a good dream quilt. He picked all the things he wished he could dream about, instead of having bad dreams. I put a big tree, the moon, a cello (he started playing cello at a very young age), a canoe, and heart for mom’s love. I read having terrible nightmares is not uncommon in creative children. He’s very creative. Very. But the dreams were really traumatic for him, and I hoped the good dream quilt would make him feel better.

The quilt was so intricate that I took months to make it, and with every single stitch, I swear, I put all of my mother’s love into it. I made deep and hopeful wishes that the quilt would make my son better. Amazingly, it did! When I first tucked him in with that quilt, I told him how I put all of my love in it, so he believed it too. It made me wonder: What if believing something so much can make it real?

It is only recently that I have learned about this, I have learned what it means to make something with intention. When my son went months without having a bad dream, I realized that love might really be magic.

Now, I have this tradition of sorts for myself. It’s a lot of work, but it’s very important to me. When wonderful women I know have a baby or a grandbaby, I make them a baby quilt. All of these children are so well loved before they are even born, but I can’t help but think that adding a little extra love in the form of a beautiful quilt gives love a little extra boost. And, hopefully, when their mamas or grandmas see the quilt, they will know that there is good in the world, and that seems extra important to me right now. 

Last week, I started making my fifth baby quilt. It’s a “starry night” quilt I invented to do my best to put Van Gogh’s famous painting into quilt form. I love making these quilts, and I do all of the stitch work by hand. Doing the stitches by hand gives me a chance to breathe whatever magic I have inside of me into the quilt. And the kitties always “help” me. Sophie loved when I made quilts. I think she loved them so much that she added a little extra love. Maybe Betty and Bella will do the same.

Anyway, as I was doing the first round of stitching on the moon the other day, Ron said, “That’s a lot of work,” like, “Are you sure you want to be doing this?” I’ve been working a lot lately and have been very tired. But making quilts for little ones brings me such joy. 

And, when the quilt is finished, won’t I be happy to have put a little bit of magic in the world?

5 thoughts on “Made with Love

  1. Quilts made with love ….. priceless.
    My husband also suffered from night terrors when young ….he could have benefited from a love quit to keep him safe. 💞

    Like

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