Are you kidding? Of course, I’ll knit you a dress. This is how it happened. I took my granddaughter, Olivia to a yarn store while we were visiting. I needed some needles to start a project.
Olivia is four years old. She walked into the store and went right over to a shelf of hand-dyed yarns, picked up a skein, and said, “this is really beautiful.” It was an expensive hand-painted yarn with some bright blue sprinkled among dark chocolate brown and cabernet red. I gasped. I wanted the skein. I gritted my teeth and told Olivia I was just there to buy needles so she wandered off to check out some more yarn.
She came back after a few minutes later and watched me reading the needle packages trying to find the right size. “Grandma?” She said. “Will you knit me a dress? I found some pink and purple yarn. They are my favorite colors.”
It’s hard to knit for children. They are not gentle with clothing and a hand-crafted garment can get stretched and poked and snagged. But how could I refuse? I knelt next to her, took out my phone, and explained that the first step was to pick a pattern and then look at yarn. She nodded. We looked up girl’s dress patterns on Ravelry (an online community for knitters) and we found a pattern she liked. I looked at the suggested yarn. It needed to be DK weight.
A four-year-old knows nothing about gauges or yarn weights. Olivia heard me say “DK”. She headed to her pink and purple yarn. “Let’s see if this is DK Grandma, she said. She ran to the yarn, picked it up, and screamed, it’s DK, it’s DK.
There it was in big letters on the ball band “Dreambaby DK”.
I’ve been knitting on that dress from Missouri to New York and I still have a few inches to go but I am granting her wish. She certainly granted one of mine! There I was in one of my favorite places thinking that a four-year-old was going along for the ride and instead, she is having the same thrill looking at yarn and imaging what it could be as I was. It was a powerful connection.
I had no expectation that she would enjoy the experience. I just needed some needles and she was spending the day with me.
Letting go of expectations makes these moments incredibly special. If I had thought she might enjoy going to the store, looking at yarn, and picking out a project with me then she would have met my expectation. Instead, I was surprised by joy when she immersed herself in the beauty and fun of the yarn.
Part of what I have been trying to do this lent is to let go of my unrealistic expectations and remain open to whatever the moment has to offer me. Otherwise, I miss out.
I am starting to anticipate Holy Week. Every church has its Holy Week traditions. We are doing our services differently this year. I have no expectations of these services and now I can be open to whatever happens. This is what it means to be present.