Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Luke's Remnant

While talking with my dad the other day, I mentioned to him what Luke has done during his Christmas break; made nine leather knife pouches, practiced the piano almost non-stop... I was just starting to say, "sewed a..." when my dad interrupted me and said, "It's stitching, don't call it sewing."  My dad thought I was referring to Luke's leather projects.

Oh but I wasn't.
I was trying to say, "Luke sewed a pillow."

And so, I told him the story about how I was in the material section of Walmart the other night picking up some ribbon....

Luke was intently looking at all the material (in his beloved 'genre') trying to tell me all the things he wanted to make with them.  (I was trying so hard to be patient with him, because I had really wanted to go to the store alone that evening, but I finally gave into his pleading and allowed him to accompany me and oh man was he wearing me out did he have lots to say...)

When lo and behold, in the box of remnants was a yard of horse material, clearance priced.  Oh it was like Christmas morning all over again.  The energy, excitement and enthusiasm coming from one little nine year old.

And then in seriousness he asked, "I don't really have a lot of money right now, what could I do to earn this?"

Seriously?
What did he say?
I don't know what was making me smile more:  His enthusiasm for a remnant piece of fabric or the principal of 'we work for what we want' that somewhere, somehow has sunk in.

I tossed the three dollar piece of horse fabric into the cart and listened to Luke drill me for the duration of our shopping time, the drive home and the carrying in of groceries, "Have you thought yet what I need to do to earn it?"

"Yes" I responded, "I'd like my lower kitchen cabinets cleaned out and organized."
There was no groaning and no complaining, simply a "Please can you keep Drew away from me while I do it?"
He began the minute he walked in the door.
He worked fast.
He worked efficiently
And only complained once when I shirked my responsibility of keeping Drew away from undoing his work. 

Then Luke disappeared.
He returned a little while later and he had HANDSTITCHED THE ENTIRE YARD OF FABRIC CLOSED INTO A PILLOW CASE.
HANDSTITCHED!

He showed such determination and dedication, I dreaded the thought of his disappointment when the whole pillowcase would very likely come apart within minutes of inserting a pillow into it.
And so very kindly, I said, "Luke it might not be very strong."
And in a momentary lapse of New Year's Eve judgement. I offered to teach him how to sew with a sewing machine.
You'd have thought he had died and gone to heaven.
That smile was bigger than any Christmas morning smile.

(You see, he has begged and pleaded for a sewing lesson more than once, following past 'sewing projects' but I am not one to teach my children things like that.  It takes a lot of patience, and that is not something I have much of.  And besides, what nine year old boy really needs to know how to work a sewing machine!?!)

But I must have had some New Year's Eve kindness in me.
And our lesson began...
And by golly, that proud smile on his face at the end made all the biting of my tongue worth it.
And then in true, generous Luke fashion, Luke promptly gave it to Mike to be the first to 'try it out'.

I love Luke! I can't think of another nine year old kid I know that is anywhere near as creative, innovative or resourceful as Luke is. But the thing I love the most is his confidence in what he does.  He hasn't a care in the world that he talks with his friends and hears all about the game systems and electronics they received and/or played with during Christmas break.  He just answers back, "I got a leather punch and some leather and made stuff." 

Luke's great!
I've never met anyone quite like him.

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