moving toward home
In the days after we evacuated the house from the flood and moved into the garage apartment, and shock began to give way to grief, I was particularly concerned about Alex. It was a traumatic time to endure as an adult -- I didn't want to imagine what it might be like to go through it all at thirteen. So, one day, as Alex and I were talking, I suggested to her that it would be a big help for me if she could begin pinning things on her Pinterest account that would give me an idea of what she'd like her future bedroom to look like. "I mean, we need to replace everything anyway," I said. "So you might as well make your wish list, and we'll see what we can do."
I was relieved that she took me up on it, and for weeks, every night she'd crawl in bed with me and go through her dream bedroom Pinterest board. Some of the things were easy to imagine doing. (She'd love, for example, one of those gauzy canopies above her bed, which makes me laugh, because when I was a little girl in Trinidad, we called that "mosquito netting" -- you know, to keep away the dengue and the yellow fever. That it is currently a trendy fashion accessory is hilarious to me.) Other things were more difficult to agree to (mostly because there's no way in hell I'm giving her a loft bed with a hot tub underneath).
One recurring theme on her wish list, however, was a pale pink, super-chunky blanket -- the kind with oversized stitches. I thought they were pretty cool as well, and decided to buy her one as soon as I could ... until I discovered that one big enough to cover her would cost upwards of $500 (and in some cases, almost $1000). Needless to say, there were all kinds of reasons why that wasn't going to happen. But then it dawned on me: wait a minute. I know how to knit! Maybe I could make her one!
So I did the research. I found a pattern, bought some needles, and scoured the internet for appropriate yarn. And then? I made it. And even though it was nowhere near $500, it was still way more expensive than I generally like to pay for a blanket, but hell: the kid just survived a flood. It was the least I could do.
And she loves it.
Related: I've been learning so much since losing everything from the storm; specifically, it has helped me discover what I need to be “home.” For example, there are things which I thought were imperative, that it turns out I don’t need at all. And on the other hand, there are things I thought were trivial, but turn out to be necessities (like, it turns out, an oversized chunky blanket for a kid who is navigating her childhood, having just lost most of her belongings). Even though it has been a challenging lesson to learn, I am grateful to be learning it. It is an unexpected joy.
On another note: we're making final arrangements with a builder.
Looks like rebuilding has officially begun.
Soundtrack: This must be the place (naïve melody), as performed by Shawn Colvin