Saturday, November 2, 2013

Knotted together

Ancient history (from our beach trip in
August): From E to L, with love, an
embroidery thread friendship bracelet.
The thing of the summer was friendship bracelets. E learned how to tie them at camp and it became all she did. We were all wearing them for awhile, and I don't know the fate of anybody else's, but mine stretched to the point of insecurity. It had always been a little big. I have it, though, in my jewelry box, a treasure from my oldest.

Not long after the school year began, the bracelets changed from camp's obsession with embroidery thread to the omnipresent Rainbow Loom. It's this plastic crochet stand and all the 2nd grade girls are always looming. Knowledge passes fast with these flashpan trends. When we were little, we learned another friendship bracelet pattern only when someone in our circle learned one from an older sibling or cousin or neighbor. Knowledge had to pass person to person.

Today, E sits at the kitchen table with her loom and my iPad and she watches youtube videos. She knows a dozen or more stitches, and what makes me happy is that she continues to churn out these bracelets on demand for her siblings just as much for her friends.

Knowledge overcomes many barriers, and so it was that after synagogue services today E had a playdate with a newish friend. She really likes this girl, but they've never been in the same class together although they play both at aftercare and in the synagogue. My E was working up quite a set of nerves about going to this other girl's house.

We packed her a bag with a change of clothes so she could get out of her dress, and I mused on whether she'd want to bring her loom. Nimble fingers speak a common language. E was quiet and quieter as synagogue services approached conclusion but when I picked her up later that afternoon, the two girls bounded down to the front of the house.

E smiled up at me and the other girl smiled up at her mom. "She taught me Twisty Wisty!" the other girl told me, and showed me her wrist. E smiled with pride, and I'm sure her friend interpreted it as a commendation of bracelet-making well done, but I know E was in that moment thinking of herself. It was a good playdate, nerves were a thing forgotten, and confidence is beautiful. As is, of course, child-made jewelry.

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