Rambling Worries

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Above:  a Gerber daisy and my attempt to recreate this in braids, in progress.  I’m lacing a second row of braids onto an already-laced row, which is a trick I learned from Kris McDermet and Peggyann Watts, both of whom have made “footed” baskets like this.  My plan is to add several more rows both to the row in progress and to the outside row, but to put in so many increases that there will be two incredibly ruffled petal rows.  Then a black 9-loop center and some loopy rug hooking strips around it to get that pollen area.

In my mind’s eye, it will be perfect.  We’ll have to see what happens, though.

On the home front:  my son actually texted me the other day. Since he’s been off at college, it’s been difficult to communicate with him.

In contrast, we hear from our daughter just about every day. If nothing else, she calls to request more money — although that’s improved somewhat since I had a series of discussions with her and my enabling, “Yes, Princess, whatever you want” husband. Clearly, it’s in everyone’s best interest to have her learn how to budget, and if I occasionally have to scream at everyone to get them to recognize that… well, so be it.

My son, however, is impervious to manipulation via money. We gave him a set amount to last him all semester (having learned to do so because of our daughter) and it has sat there untouched so far except for $5. Apparently he eats at the cafeteria and doesn’t have a girlfriend, so his expenses are minimal.

The result, though, is that he doesn’t often talk to us. I text him to ask him how he’s doing, and he texts back, “fine.” I send him photos of the dogs doing stupid things, and he sometimes will respond “cute.” I demand that he call us that evening and… nothing.  About the longest communication I’ve heard from him is:  “Did you change your Netflix password? What is it?”

I am aggravated with him, and just a bit scared. Is this how families become estranged? It seems that everyone has a family member who has just dropped off the face of the planet, and you never see or hear from them again. I haven’t seen one of my cousins in more than a decade (of course, I don’t really miss him, either – he was a sarcastic jerk with no sense of humor at all.  But I still worry about him).

And I worry about my son and his lack of communication with us. He sees himself as an independent loner, but he’s a loner as long as there are people around him. If he actually severed ties with everyone, I’m pretty sure he would spiral downward pretty quickly. Despite feeling like a loner, he really isn’t.

Yesterday, he actually texted me on his own. He was having bad hand pain, and he was struck by the thought that maybe he was getting arthritis like his sister. She has inflammatory arthritis (think “rheumatoid” and it’s close), which started with terrible joint swelling and pain in her hands and feet and knees and elbows in the summer after graduating from high school. She had to go on steroids for awhile just to be able to write or type. She’s now maintained on Plaquenil and only complains when it’s raining outside.

Through a series of texts, Jack clarified with me: it was his right index finger only. No other joints were hurting. There was no redness or other signs of infection other than sharp pain. He has had no recent injuries to his hand. He has done nothing out of the ordinary. Wait for it: he’s maintaining his usual regimen of playing his guitar for 4 to 5 hours every day.

Yes: 4 to 5 hours every day.

Having the benefit of only texting him, I was able to laugh out loud and not have him get angry with me. So I laughed and texted him that maybe, just maybe, he needed to do something else besides play guitar for a few days, and see if his finger felt any better.

Sigh. I found myself hoping for more aches and pains on his part just so the boy would communicate with me.

But it made me think a bit about my braiding. I’m afraid that Jack gets his ability to stay on task for hours on end from me. We are both the opposite of ADD: we can focus on one thing almost forever, if we want to.

I’ve never had any hand pain from braiding or lacing – except once when I was working with some really stiff and thick coat weight wool and finger-folding. Then, I had some thumb-achiness, and I switched to using braid-aids for that wool.

But I have heard stories from people with repetitive motion injuries that seriously impaired their ability to do what they wanted due to tendonitis, which can in some people take a long, long time to heal up. One of my rug punching acquaintances couldn’t punch with her right hand for a whole year. Another friend had a tendonitis episode that limited her ability to hook rugs for many months.

Summary of today’s worries: that my daughter will be financially irresponsible and tap us for money the rest of our lives, that my son will become estranged from us at some point, that my cousin is homeless or in prison somewhere, that I will become unable to braid someday due to tendonitis… or because I lose my eyesight… or have a stroke and lose function in a hand…

There’s always something you can worry about, right? I can take on the best of them with worrying.