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Archive for May, 2008

This is a love story. It starts in our first house – and old 17th century stone farmhouse on a hilltop in a small village in France. The house had six foot thick stone walls, stone floors and a walled garden with fruit trees and roses. The ceiling was oak-beamed and you could roast an ox in the fireplace. It did, of course, lack a few of the mod cons – like electricity, heat and indoor plumbing – but it had so much charm and we were so young…

The renovations were, of course, much more difficult and time consuming than we had planned. We found out I was pregnant, which further slowed things up so that, by the time winter came, we still had no heat in the house. My husband worked fifty miles away and took our only car, so I decided to keep busy and knit something for our child-to-be. Bundled up in just about everything I owned and huddled by the fire, I tried to think of summer and warm things. I decided to knit a little bathing suit. Despite thick gloves and chattering teeth, my needles clicked rhythmically away and I lost myself in dreams of sunny days and my beautiful soon-to-be daughter.

Somehow winter passed and my daughter was born at the end of May. We sold the farmhouse, moved back to the United States, and the little bathing suit was forgotten. When I finally found it the following summer, I couldn’t wait to fill up the wading pool. My daughter, lovingly dressed in her knit swim suit, climbed in as her doting mother watched with pride. There is a reason that no one knits bathing suits…as soon as the fabric hit the water, it started to swell. It floated around her like seaweed and the weight of it, as she tried to get out, was too much for her. I had to lift her, and her glorious swim suit, out of the pool – which wasn’t easy since I was laughing so hard. That was the first and only time that my daughter used her hand knit swim suit.

My daughter is now a senior in high school and about to go to college and start her own life. She has no memories of that little orange swimsuit but, for me, it still holds all those dreams for her that are knit into every stitch and all the love that a mother can give.

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