The Crime

My husband came home and caught me in the act. I hadn’t had time to clean up. The accouterments of my crime lay everywhere.

Staring at me, having caught me red-handed, he made a cold, critical, and judgmental face. His voice was worse.

“Honey, we’re going to put you in a program. It’s only got two steps. Step one: you have too much yarn. Step two: stop buying yarn!”

I needed a distraction. “Coffee?”

He looked intrigued. “When did you brew this?”

“While I was unpacking the yarn.”

“That could be anytime!”

“I don’t see what your problem is. I’m doing it for us. You need a sweater.”

“No, I don’t! It’s summer!”

“But you’d look so cute,” I said. I batted my eyelashes at him.

Did that ever actually work? It didn’t now. He took the coffee and scowled at me.

“Hector, come here,” called the hubs.

Hector came running in, and he looked adorable. He had four sweaters on, and they were so fuzzy. I could see the cream yarn under the outermost emerald knit. The only problem was that Hector stood like a tree.

“Mom! I can’t put my arms down!”

“You’ll be fine,” I said. Kids were tough. He’d be okay.

“Honey, look at what you’re doing to the children!” said the hubs. He waved at Hector. He sipped his coffee. “Your knitting fixation is tearing this family apart!”

“You know, I could fix that.” I beamed at him. “With the yarn. I could definitely knit the family back together.”

The hubs closed his eyes, unsmirked, and opened his eyes again. He immediately started laughing. With a supreme act of will, I could see the veins bulge in his neck, he unsmirked again and sipped his coffee.

“Hector, can you put your arms down?” he asked our child.

“I can’t!” yelled Hector. “I fell over, and I bounced!”

The hubs closed his eyes again.

See? Kids were tough. Hector would be fine if we could just survive this out-of-season cold wave.

“Jen,” said the hubs. “Stop. Buying. Yarn.”

I was sitting on the family room couch, surrounded by my loot. The criminal enterprise had gone well. I’d hit two fabric stores, acquired a plethora of colors and textures, and neat, well wrapped bundles tumbled off the couch. They were so tidy, even in macroscopic disorder. Each bundle was a single, delicately wrapped thread, gathered with a cardboard wrapper, and consumed with intricate but predictable patterns. The bundles themselves lay in chaotic heaps.

“You’re going to give the boy heatstroke,” said the fool I’d married, the fool who didn’t know how good he had it. He beckoned Hector, put the coffee down, and started unpacking the boy from his sweaters.

It was freezing cold outside. Hector would be a popsicle in moments if he went out unprepared.

“Jen, I’m taking the kids to the pool. When I return, you need to clean up this.”

I didn’t much appreciate his patronizing attitude, to be honest.

“Maybe I will, and maybe I won’t.”

“Organize it in the den.”

Ooh, that did sound good. I could put it with the other yarn.

“Don’t freeze,” I warned him.

The hubs nodded, took Hector upstairs, and started rounding up kids, pulling them out of closets, bedrooms, and boxes like like a magician. The noise they made was tremendous, but soon I was alone, in quiet and peace, with my yarn.

I just needed a little more. Maybe one bundle. In red. But first, I could start another sweater.

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