I know three smart, funny, semi-rambunctious 5th grade boys who have taken to sewing. One has been embroidering, another has been knitting, and the other created a stuffed puppet as part of a biographical research project where he chose to study singer/songwriter David Crosby of the classic rock group, Crosby, Stills and Nash. The puppet resembles Crosby as he appears these days: complete with long gray locks, tie-dye t-shirt and jeans. Sewing “Stuffed Crosby” was no small undertaking, but with a few quick lessons from his mother, this l’il dude learned how to work a sewing machine. And he enjoyed it!
These boys are not weirdos: They all love their video games, have excellent social skills, and plenty of friends. Each of these boys knows how to get down and dirty. One of these boys is downright crazy. That said, each of these kids has recently learned that sewing – whether it be by hand or by machine – can be relaxing and the results rewarding.
I know lately everyone is talking about the obesity epidemic in the United States so everyone has their kids in a million after school run & jump activities. Personally, I’m thrilled to see these boys taking a little time to develop a slightly different skills set: patience, precision, concentration, and the ability to sit in one place for an extended period of time without a gaming device in hand.
Perseverance is potentially the most important quality for any successful working professional, athlete, or individual. Most well known breakthroughs in life have been attributed to perseverance alone. In life, as in sewing, sometimes things go wrong and things get all knotted up. In those moments, one has to persevere – move beyond the frustration – by developing different strategies. For these boys, the outcomes have been wonderful pieces of art, but each has also discovered a new creative outlet.
Who knows? Maybe they might start patching the holes in their jeans. Now that would be something!