There are days that are magical. Most are unplanned and involve serendipity. You can guide them, but only gently, or else they will lose the flow of spontaneity.
Yesterday was such a day.
It involved little hands, a sweet voice, a sparkly headband and a gift.
Actually, several gifts.
First, there was the gift of a granddaughter sidling up to me the day before and saying something about getting together and learning to sew and cook.
There was the gift of the sewing machine I got her for Christmas, which we just celebrated on Sunday, because we were gone and had been sick, since.
There was the gift of feeling good and having time. Time, that illusive thing.
So, I picked up Vivi at ten, arriving at her house to find her in pjs, and her mom making crepes. There was a lovely light shining through their kitchen window, that cast a halo over my grandson, CJ.
After tasting a crepe and Vivi getting dressed, we were off for a day of cooking, learning how to use her sewing machine, and playing.
I asked Vivi if she would like to stop at Michael’s and pick out her birthday present … a sewing box.
“Sure,” she said.
So that is what we did. We marched into the store and back to the small selection of sewing boxe. She chose a bright floral one, a perfect size for her.
In the car, on the way to my house, she went through her box of notions and fabric her Aunt Rachel had bought her for Christmas, and she organized it in her new sewing basket. She was set.
“You buy the best birthday and Christmas presents,” she said.
Wow. Does it get any better than that?
After a stop at Publix, to pick up a few ingredients that we needed to make the Not-so-Sloppy Joe recipe in her cookbook that Aunt Andrea had bought her. We were making dinner to take back to her house that evening.
We set up her new machine on the counter, I brought my laptop over, and we watched the dvd about the machine. We stopped it and started it and Vivi did what it told us to do. She caught on quickly and before long, she had her practice fabric running through that machine.
I loved that.
I thought about my mom, the sewer, who made us matching dresses. I thought about my oldest sister, who designed and made clothes in San Francisco, and had made me dresses. And I thought about Vivi’s other grandma, Mimi, who had been working with Vivi on sewing, too.
I watched this child learn a skill. She used her own mind. And what I had to do, is let her. I wanted to treat her and teach her with respect. And I think I did.
Then, we cooked. She manned the stove as I got out and opened ingredients. She had read the recipe to me. I chopped the onions … mostly. I used the BIG knife. She wanted to try. And I let her do it. I taught her how to keep the pointed end on the cutting board and lift the knife and go down, changing the angle of the shop.
She did it.
And she took the spatula and broke up the ground beef in the pan, and added the ingredients I handed to her.
And the, we had sliced apple and she decided to watch a bit of. TV.
While she did that, I practiced tempering chocolate. I did that fine, but learned it is and art and I will have to practice, more. But I did get the strawberries dipped. Oh, I am the worst piper. So I did a Picassoesque design on the strawberries.
Vivi came over and sewed some more. I showed her how to do a satin stitch and zig-zag and we made a couple of folds. She folded the fabric over and said, “this could be a potholder.” So she sewed her practice piece into a pot holder.
I made sautéed broccoli with soy, sesame in and honey.
Late that afternoon, NIck and I drove Miss Vivi home. We ended up staying and having a lovely time with Disco, their new poodle. He is three years old.
We needed up eating dinner there. Vivi was proud of her cooking and sewing. She had taken her sewing machine up to her room and taught her brotherhood to use it.
After dinner, Nick and I headed home.
This was the kind of day that I have dreamed of. It didn’t involve eyes, breasts or colds.
It simply involve life and the love of a child.