When Elizabeth, my oldest, was born, I remember my father saying that unless she grew up to be a major celebrity, she would never again command the constant attention and adoration she had right now. It is true. We doted on her; watched her every move, and applauded her every accomplishment. It's really no wonder first children and only children turn out the way they do.
As Elizabeth grew, and her siblings came along, life returned to a new normal, and that rockstar attention waned. But even older children crave adoration. It's charming when a small child, recognizing his need says, "Look at me - see what I can do!" which is kid code for, "Please validate me."
Adults are supposed to grow out of that need, but the truth is we don't really. We all need reassurance and validation in our lives, and it's pretty spare in the grown up world. Depending on where you work and for whom, the only feedback you get might be negative. It's silly, but I still send my kids random texts reminding them that they' are awesome. It makes them smile and feel warm, but at the end of the day, I'm their mom, and praise from me is not the same as praise from their boss or their client. We need validation from people who truly get the nature of what we're doing and just how hard it is.
Many of us get the validation we need from our knitting and our knitting community. There is no more appreciative audience for our creations than other knitters. Kelly recently completed a spectacular intarsia blanket of her own design and brought it in for us to see. She commented that our response was "...exactly the validation she had hoped for." I'm sure her family complimented the blanket, but they don't knit, so they don't get it in the same way we do. The knitters gathered around her project understood what it meant when she described the rows requiring more than 35 different bobbins. We knew just what it had taken to accomplish this piece of art.
Whether it is your first garter stitch scarf or an intricate lace shawl worked in cobweb silk, we are sincerely proud of your accomplishment and lavish with our praise. Our knitting is a way of calming and soothing, but it is also a way of finding that validation that just isn't readily available to us as self-actualized adults. So bring your project in, and let us oooh and aaaah over it. We like doing it, and I think it will make you feel pretty good too.
I look forward to seeing you and your project in the shop and around the table. You are always welcome here. ~Ellen
p.s. come to the shop First Friday and see Kelly's gorgeous afghan, one of the beautiful works of art featured for Leonardtown Art Walk