We Get Better

I woke up oddly early this morning, which is nice — it gave me a little time to think before Anand woke up and started school. There’s a light dusting of snow outside, and we haven’t quite finished clearing up the garden for winter, but it’s all right — it’s supposed to warm up again for the weekend, so I think we can have a Thanksgiving of family yard cleaning, yay.

This photo is from yesterday, as I was finishing up the last of the outstanding mask orders. A few more did come in yesterday, which is fine, but I wanted to take a moment to appreciate that things are changing — from March to now, there’s been a sewing machine on my dining table, an ironing board in my dining room. For months, I was frantically sewing masks for healthcare workers who didn’t have enough PPE, as much sewing as my back could stand. The kids would go to bed, and I’d stay up, sewing masks.

That eased, as PPE production finally ramped up, but then I kept sewing masks for non-essential workers. I almost stopped, once you could get cheap masks at Target and Old Navy, but I bought some of those masks, and found they didn’t seal well, slipped off my nose, etc. Better than nothing, but not as good as the ones I was sewing.

More than that, from the beginning of all this, I felt like we needed to normalize mask wearing, to make it as fun and appealing as possible. So geeky masks, seasonal masks, masks themed around books and queerness and identity, just plain beautiful masks. I’m planning to try to sew a mask + headband matching combo soon, just to see how it looks. I posted pictures of myself in masks, and some of the people who bought masks from me did the same, and maybe we inched the needle a tiny bit towards acceptance of mask wearing? I hope so.

There were months when the dining room was really overwhelmed with fabric and interfacing and cutting mats and elastics — that’s been steadily moving out, over the last few weeks. I’m going to keep sewing masks for a while to come, I think, but yesterday I cleared the sewing machine and ironing board out of the dining room and took it down to my sewing table in the basement again.

I spread out an autumnal tablecloth (featuring Kavi’s designs) on the dining table, and even though we’re not hosting Thanksgiving in our house this year, the dining table is now ready for our four-person family dinners, and board games all winter long.

It feels good. This has been a long, terrible stretch, and it’s not over yet, sadly. But it’s not forever. We get better.

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