A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

A broken distaff...

I'm currently reading The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, a historical fiction novel set in the Biblical Middle East and told from the viewpoint of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah (of Leah and Rachel fame). She gets only a passing mention in Genesis, so there's a lot of backstory to fill in.

But I'm not going to tell you about the book today, since I haven't finished it yet. (Although I am enjoying it so far, so don't be surprised to see a review at some point.) So far, much of the story centers around the relationship between mothers and daughters, and especially of the things handed down from mother to daughter - stories, legends, and knowledge, as well as the expected domestic skills.

I'm not sure whether it's a result of the culture or something else entirely, but nowadays, there seems to be very little maternal knowledge transmission. My mom taught me reading, crocheting, and some other basic skills, but I would have to admit that our skill sets have very little overlap. I don't know what her 'signature' recipe might be. I can't remember her telling me stories, other than being read Dr. Seuss books. I know very little about my family history - I don't even know the names of my great-grandparents. (I *will* research my genealogy one of these years...) I don't know which of the above items my mom knows about her mom - perhaps she was in a similar position. And I'm sure I'm not by any means the only woman who could say these things. Somehow we've lost that connectedness to the past.

And so I can't really do any better for my daughters. Other than very basic domestic skills, all I really have to pass along is a love of reading, and of needlework. DsD has been a voracious reader ever since she attained literacy - a fact which pleases both DH and me. She's never gotten much into stitching, though. She knows how to cross-stitch, and has done a few small items such as bookmarks, but her interests primarily lie elsewhere. Her culinary abilities already surpass mine - she may yet rival DH in that regard.

DD is very much interested in books, and she's just starting to read. She's often proud of herself for recognizing words in printed items, and has started sounding out unknown words. So there's certainly reason for hoping she becomes as avid a reader as the rest of the family. She has also shown some interest in my needlework, though at present that consists more in claiming my finished pieces for herself than it does a desire to learn. But at least that's a start.

Besides, someone needs to inherit my stash someday!

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