Monday, August 28, 2006

Baby Sweater

One of the things I found in the basement was a baby sweater I was knitting. A baby sweater I started when I was pregnant with Tara. Yes, I do realize she is ten years old now, and it might not fit anymore.

I never finished this sweater before she was born, but I had high hopes I could do it afterwards. Yeah right, three kids and a full time job didn't leave much knitting time. But luckily I was pregnant again and could use it for the next baby...

My goal for this sweater kept being pushed forwards to yet another baby, but I never actually knitted anything at it after Tara was born. At some point I was joking I could use it for my grandkids.

I found this half finished sweater in the basement and held it in my hands for a while. I looked at it and envisioned all the dreams I had had for this sweater. The feeling of accomplishment I would have had when my baby would wear this awfully cute sweater. We both would be better persons if only I had finished this sweater.

Then my perception switched and I realized that love and accomplishment is not about this sweater. That this sweater actually had been sucking my energy, just by being there, unfinished, always invoking a slight feeling of guilt in me. That it had been taking up precious space in my basement, my life and my soul, without giving anything back.

And I knew it was ok to let go of this sweater. The fact that I hadn't knit one stitch on it in the last ten years, clued me in to the possibility that I wouldn't knit anything on it in the next ten years either. I sighed, and dropped it in the thrash bag, not even wanting to try to find a 'deserving owner' for it. I just let go and felt myself getting a tiny bit lighter. I did not live up to my expectations, but the world didn't explode.

This sweater seemed symbolic for a lot of things in my basement and my life. I do not have to hold on to every item, every object, every unfinished dream. I can let go and will be ok, or even enlightened. Amazing how much insight can be hidden in an old unfinished baby sweater.


chris said...


I have been having similar thoughts about all the stuff in my attic and house that I am slowly getting rid of.

txmommy said...

I love this post, it might be one of my very favorites. Super mom (you) herself feels the same way little ol'me does.

We all need to let go of the things that are cluttering our lives and our time and causing guilt or stress or whatever and have JOY. Thank you for sharing!!! Thanks for letting go of the sweater!

BTW, I love to read about your family. They are lovely!

Jody said...

This is wonderful Karen. Thanks for sharing it.

harri saptadi said...

i (re)found stacks of "readers' digest / het beste" from 1973-74 editions in a cardbox.
somehow mijn Papi told me to search and bought them (in 1998), "For nostalgia along your birth-year." he said. i managed his request.
he hadn't had completed reading them till he 'times' away in may 2000 at age 68.

Anonymous said...

Such a good laoshi, and uber-pal. Yama food in less six hours!