My children and their cousins know that when my mom, sisters and I get together, at some point we are going to the craft store or a place that sells paint brushes, fabric or yarn.
We can’t help it. Creativity is in our DNA. We were meant to craft.
For years, we artists have tried to encourage the kids – three boys and one girl – to join us. We have wasted lots of money on paint-by-number kits, looms to make pot holders and projects for holiday wood decor only to see the kids scurry away from the activities at the first opportunity, leaving us to clean up, finish or discard their abandoned efforts.
“Don’t you want to make something?” we have asked them so many times, only to be ignored by my niece who sits nearby painting her fingernails in bright, sparkly colors and the boys responding with remarks of their own, such as “I’m hungry,” “When’s lunch?” and “Why don’t we have anything good to eat in the house?”
Increasingly, we who love to create have begun to understand and accept that the crafting gene might skip a generation. What can we do but adapt?
It’s okay that the kids have grown old enough to stay at home by themselves while we journey to the stores and shop in peace.
It’s no problem to stock the refrigerator shelves with quick-serve sandwiches, pasta salads and fruit trays in case the kids get hungry before we finish sewing.
We understand that our boys will skip the basketry, leatherworks and wood carving merit badges at Boy Scout summer camp to delve into the more adventurous studies of small boat sailing, kayaking and swimming.
Before giving up hope, we made one final push to keep our tradition of family crafting alive. What more could we do?
We offered to pay for pottery classes.
Collage and art?
“Mom, please. We don’t want to craft.”
And then my 13-year-old niece went rogue.
She needed a place to store and display the more than 90 bottles of nail polish she has collected. She found the perfect box of shelves on-line, but it cost $40. She decided to make her own. With research on the computer, a quick trip to the dollar store and a few hours of crafting, she built her own customized box of shelves out of a simple piece of school project board and hot glue. The total cost was $4.
My sister sent out an e-mail announcement.
“My daughter is one of us – she crafts! I am so proud.”
We are all proud of my beautiful niece. She’s going to help our artistic hobbies move forward in a wonderful direction. She knows color. She knows style. And she is one of us.
The crafting gene did not skip a generation after all.
To celebrate, we’re all going to learn how to make a similar box of shelves this weekend. The box will be a great way to display my spools of thread in the sewing room.
The best part is that after we get our crafting lesson, we can all paint our nails to celebrate.
I’m ready to craft and sew.