Thursday, March 10, 2022

Weaving friendship

Day 10 of 31 at TWT!

 "Mommy, will you show me how to do my friendship bracelet kit now?" My proud Daisy Girl Scout has waited months since she earned this kit in the fall product sale; it was backordered and just arrived a week or two ago. 

She's read her book-in-a-bag aloud to me and finished her math homework for the week, and her little sister is still napping. The kit says 8+, so I hope she doesn't get frustrated, but she is really good at crafts for a 6 year old. "Sure!"

I never learned how to make friendship bracelets when I was a kid. I remember seeing girls with their huge, clear, multi-compartment boxes of colorful thread, half-finished bracelets dangling from the latches, but that craze never hit my friends, so it never hit me. I suppose we were too wrapped up in our elaborate imaginary worlds at recess, pretending we were in the worlds of our favorite books or back in one of our favorite historical time periods. Friendship bracelets were one of those vague things other kids did, along with beaded lizards, plastic-woven keychains, and soccer. (This may be why I came home from 3rd grade and announced to my mom that my interests were different from everyone else in my class!)

In college, working summers as a daycamp counselor, I finally mastered several of those typical childhood activities, including friendship bracelets. There was something so incredibly soothing about rhythmically tying knots across bright strands of string that I found myself taking home bracelets I'd started at camp and continuing them on my free time. Make a 4, pull tight. Make a 4, pull tight. Next color, make a 4... Suddenly, at 20 years old, I was that girl with a half-finished friendship bracelet taped to my pool chair or dangling from my backpack! 

Sweetie chooses her colors: 2 shades of pink (of course), purple, and yellow. I gather and cut the strings, tie a loop on one end, then hitch it to the handle of the purple water bottle her kit came inside. "Ok, scoot close, you'll get confused if you watch upside down." I pat the couch beside me and she squeezes next to me. "Ok, um, it's been a little while since I did this..." I know I have to make the 4's, but I feel like I'm missing something. I glance at the directions from the kit, but I've always had a hard time with picture directions that don't have words. I make a 4 with each color, but something seems wrong. 

Her little sister wakes up just as I consider resorting to YouTube. "Ugh, we're going to have to try again another day, sorry!" I know I'm so close... what am I missing?!

After dinner, there's just enough time. I only have to watch 2 seconds of a YouTube video before I realize what I did wrong. "Do you want to try the friendship bracelets again?" I grin.

She squeals and scampers off to grab the kit, skidding back to me before I've made it to the couch. 

"You have to make the 4s with the same color across all the other strings, then switch!" I can't wait to see if it works this time. Make a 4, pull tight. Make a 4, pull tight. Make a 4, pull tight... "Yeah, look, I made a row!" Triumphantly into the rhythm, I start a new row. 4, pull. 4, pull. 4, pull. I almost don't want to hand it over, but her eyes are sparkling with anticipation. 

"When you finish that color, can I try?" 

"Of course! Here!" I make sure she gets the strings spread out so they won't tangle. 

"Make a 4," she mutters, little hands tugging and twisting a little awkwardly. I show her how to adjust her grip on both strings, and she keeps trying. "Make a 4..." 

She picks up new skills so quickly. "I did it! I made a row!" she squeals. "Sofia's going to love this!" I love that she wants to give her first bracelet away.

an impressive start!

It's time to get ready for bed, but we're both chattering happily all the way up the stairs. 

"See how fun it is? I always thought it was really relaxing!"

"Yeah! I love it! And I feel proud!"

More friendship bracelet string might be in our future... so I can finally make friendship bracelets with a friend (albeit, one who's half my size)!

1 comment:

  1. How fun that the two of you got to share such a special time! 'm so glad you were able to figure it out! Thank heaven for YouTube!!! And what a sweetheart, to give the first one away!


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