Mothering, Perfect

Dreadfully, Perfectly

Tonight I have to mark the future hem of LP's concert dress with pins. It is not an exaggeration to say I am dreading this task. My lack of sewing ability reminds me of all the other motherly things I don't do, or haven't done, well. Last night I could not figure out how to pin up something that has seven extra inches of fabric, and I gave up and went to bed, but then I lay awake worrying about it.

My sewing advisor, who will actually sew the hem, suggested I simply mark the level at which we want the hem. She will cut the fabric. (Thank you! Thank you!)

Sewing eludes me. Maybe it's too much like geometry, something which also filled me with dread. 

I think I dread them because they leave me feeling incompetent. I don't know if that incompetence lies in a lack of effort when I first had the chance to develop the skills or in a lack of talent for pursuing them. Either way I feel lacking. I tend to hate things I'm not good at doing, or think I'm not good at doing.

It's possible I have handed this trait down to my daughter, and it seems that when she is in the grip of those feelings, I then feel I have failed her and we become an unpleasant matched set, dreadfully and perfectly.

I wish I could say I quickly become conscious of what's happening and never get upset.

I wish I could say I'm perfect at parenting.

I wish.

It's possible I'm avoiding the pins now.

Do you avoid things you fear you cannot do perfectly? I used to think this was my own unique psychological complex, until my oldest pointed out that wanting to do things well, or rather not wanting to fail, is part of the human condition. 

This fall, I've been finding myself stretched and inadequate to meet some of the demands in my life. I don't like to give less than everything to anything, and that leads to not having anything to give at all. I could use a time of rest for the spirit.

But not tonight. Tonight, I pin the dress.