Monday, July 14, 2008

Why I Knit

My husband said a peculiar thing to me in the car on the way to PA from OH last night.. He said, "Why are you so obsessed with knitting and yarn?" And it struck me that non-knitters really have no understanding of why we choose this as a hobby. No one questions golfers. No one questions men who build hot-rods or restore cars (Heck they have cruise-ins and car shows ALL summer long.). No one questions scrapbookers or sewers. No one questions hikers or exercise fanatics. No one questions book clubs. So it was strange to me that knitting as a hobby was so mysterious. I found myself trying to explain to him why I knit and then found myself staring into a blank pair of eyes.

So why do I knit? I think for all of us knitters, it's very personal. We all have a personal connection with it. And for me especially, it has become my escape. At the end of a long and trying day, I sit down with my needles and my yarn and let it all go.

For those who do not have a special needs child - let me tell you that life is so trying, so terrifying, so rewarding, so tiring, so wonderful, and so horrible all at the same time. It's because of my son that I have learned patience and dedication. I have learned to let little things go. Things other parents would not. I pick my battles. I gush over the smallest of achievements. Day in and day out I deal with nonstop emotions. Since my son is Asperger's, we deal with meltdowns, constant frustration on both ends, and lots of set backs. I laugh when I hear parents talk about how they are about to throw in the towel because their little Johnny is mouthy; or their little Janey just brought home a "C." Their problems seem so small to me. (I'm not diminishing them. They are real problems and they are difficult for those in the situation.) It's so different for us.

But with all of the bad comes the good. The very good. My son doesn't know how to lie. He doesn't try to ever deceive or hurt anyone. He doesn't follow the crowd. He does what he knows is right. He has a very innate sense of right and wrong. He wants everyone to be happy. He wants everyone to be taken care of. He likes cuddles and hugs from his mom (when no other 13 yo would put up with it). He tries so hard every day despite all of the setbacks and the meltdowns. He STILL gets up each day and does it all over again. How many of us can say that we would be able to do that?

Nonetheless, the emotional rollercoaster that is my life is never ending. Knitting is constant. It's peaceful. It has a wonderful sense of community and belonging. It builds your self-esteem. It gives you a creative outlet. An emotional outlet. At least it does these things for me. When I am dealing with an Aspie meltdown and a toddler temper tantrum all at the same time coupled with the stress of trying to prep a house to sell (in a market that is the worst it's been in 30 years), the responsibilites I have as a SAHM and wife.. Knitting gives me a way to de-stress and let it all go. For me, it's better than Xanax. Better than therapy. Better than a good glass of wine. Better than a massage or a facial. Better than chocolate. And even better than... well anyway.

It gives me a social network. A group of ladies connected by this craft. As a mom of an Aspie, I can tell you that other moms have shunned me. I don't fit into their perfect world. Every time I try to network with other "normal" moms, they find themselves uncomfortable with my child and I never hear from them again. Knitters not only accept me, but they welcome me to the group. They welcome all who knit, crochet, or enjoy fiber arts. They REALLY enjoy sharing their craft with others.

So I guess there is no ONE reason why I knit. But knitting is the ONE reason I stay relaxed, happy, and sane. :)


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3 comments:

  1. very eloquent! you're such an asset to our society! thank you for being such a positive person. the world needs a few more of you.

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  2. That was really refreshing and beautiful to read. I knit for the simple pleasure of looking at something and thinking, I made that; it started out as nothing and now it's this beautiful thing, and I did it. I wish you and your family the best of luck!

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  3. As the homeschool mom of a 13 yr.old Aspie, a 8 yr old ds that doesn't understand why his brother struggles so much and a 6 yr old dd that is very lively (strong willed) I totally understand what knitting can do for you at the end of the day. Thanks so much for sharing your heart.

    Trisha (tgwillis on KH)

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