This week is part three of our "Please Pass the Memories" series. This week I want to talk about 'lost arts'. Lost arts like baking from scratch, embroidery or other needlecrafts, jelly making, and even things like ironing and mending.
Spending time with your kids, grandkids, or even your great-grandkids while teaching them how to do something few people do these days is a great way to make new memories and pass along some older ones, too. For example, apple-picking time is almost here, as well as grape harvesting season. So what better time to gather your young people together and teach them to make jelly, applesauce, or pie filling? Or how fun would it be for you and the little and not-so-little girls in your family to embroider a pillowcase or a simple design on a denim bag? Learning to make pie crust, yeast rolls, or chicken soup from scratch is a lesson no one is going to say 'no' to--no one I know, anyway.
As for the ironing and mending, it may not sound like much fun, but it can be, and the fact that you are teaching them a skill that can serve them well for years to come is a worthwhile use of time. And I guarantee that anytime in the next century your kids iron a shirt, iron a crease in a pair of pants for an important job interview, or hem a skirt or sew on a button to avoid looking tacky or awkward the remainder of the workday, they are going to think of you AND thank you.
You might be thinking your kids don't have any interest in learning a lost art--that they wouldn't be lost if they really mattered anymore. But you are wrong.
The reason lost arts got lost is because we fell for the marketing ploys like 'instant', 'ready-to-bake', 'disposable', and 'wash-n-wear'. We fell hook, line, and sinker for the lie that making life easier for ourselves and our kids was a good thing. Yes, a lie, because in the process of making life so easy, we dumbed them down. We created the void now it's up to us to fill it back up. And when we share stories from the past--stories of our childhood, of learning from our parents and grandparents, and stories of their childhood that they may not remember--we are giving them more than skills. We are giving them a legacy, a sense of belonging, and a piece of the life-puzzle that makes you family.