Is it really mine?
(Boy) How long can I keep it?
(Quilty Lady) It’s yours. We’ll put your name on it and it will be yours.
(Boy) I have to give it back when I leave here, don’t I?
(Quilty Lady)No, it is truly yours. See, we’ll put your name on it with this marker.
(Quilty Lady) Yes it is yours forever and forever. Your name will go right here on the back.
(Boy) I don’t have to give it back?
(All of the Quilty Ladies smiling and this one was trying hard not to cry) NO!!!!!!!!!!! it is YOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Boy) long silence
I know which one I want. No, I want this one. I really don’t have to give it back?
(this Quilty Lady gives hug to two nearest boys) It will be yours and comes with my hug.
This past Thursday, several members of the local quilt guild met at Boys Haven, unloaded a trunk full of a dozen quilts, spread them on the dining room table of the home to wondering eyes of seven boys who did not have quilts for their beds. Boys Haven is a place of refuge for boys who for an assortment of reasons can no longer live ‘at home’. They range in age from first graders to high schoolers. This project was started many years ago by a guild member and is one of several community outreach projects.
My friend and I have made three quilts—actually she and her mom made one—all from denim, bandanna, and pockets from worn blue jeans. In a flurry of ‘not enough to do with our time so we need more projects’ we actually have enough ideas and fabric for nine more with one pieced and ready to be quilted. This is the second time we have attended the selection process.
The boys were all excited with preparations for school. Each had been given a budget for school clothing and gone shopping at Academy. They had many end of summer activities planned ranging from swimming to karate to miniature golf and two boys had already started football practice. They were excited about school starting but still there is an underlying sadness about them. One boy told me that another boy no longer had a mother and that was why he was so sad when I hugged him and said something about being a mom to boys and knowing what boys might like.
They had a hard time believing that the quilts would be theirs and eagerly sorted through the stack repeatedly, each making their selection before the official drawing began. Their choices are always surprising, and they did not need any prompting to wrap up in those quilts despite the 100 degree weather.