When my aunt was pregnant with her first child, she was placed on bed rest for several months. One day, my uncle came home with a bag of yarn and knitting needles for her and she taught herself to knit.
Ever since her pregnancy 18 years ago, many of the women in my family have taken up knitting. During summer breaks, which can be quite rainy here in Washington, we would gather in the sunroom in my grandparent’s house and knit for hours.
My first knitting project was a scarf. Scarves are, generally, long and narrow – anyone could cut one out of a piece of fabric. My scarf took on epic proportions. My initial design was 6” across. Somehow, through no fault of my own, stitches kept being added and the scarf grew to two feet wide. It looked like a turtleneck tank top.
To make it better, I immediately knit two stitches together – 100 times – so that from growing gradually wider, it took a sharp dive the other direction and went back to being 6” wide…18” gone all at once. As the scarf continued – it was quite long – this pattern repeated, albeit to less extreme dimensions.
Gradually, I became better at knitting and even learned to knit things beyond scarves.
I look back at the progression of learning to knit and remember how desperately I wanted things to be easier. My relationship with my parents often took this same pattern.
My dad and I are pretty much the same person. When I was born, my mom took one look and said, “It’s David!” But beyond physical appearance, we are both stubborn as mules and just a teensy bit prone to impatience. This resulted in a lot of fights when I was a teenager. Followed by periods of intense politeness on my end (I didn’t want to be grounded again). Followed by more fights (after which I was, of course, grounded).
Often after fights, my dad would write me letters, as feelings were still raw and it was difficult to talk without it dissolving into another fight. While my response when I was a teenager was to roll my eyes, I am so grateful to have these letters now. When I read them, I can see how hard he was trying and how much he loved me. It was just hard to see with my tunnel vision – did you know I’m always right?
Gradually, with counseling, prayer, and hard work, our relationship improved. I love my dad, and while I am still stubborn and impatient, God has built respect into our relationship. This respect changes how I interact with him and makes our relationship, which I think is pretty wonderful, infinitely better.
Like my scarf, God’s work in my family took time, work, and a lot of mistakes on my end. But eventually it clicked.
Katie McRoberts, Editor-in-Chief