Today would have been my mother's sixty-third birthday. Rather than feel sad, I have been recalling happy times with her. Here's a story that I thought you might enjoy.
For my sixth Christmas, my mom gave me a fully functional toy sewing machine. I still remember my joy as I opened the box and saw the little mechanical wonder inside.
Overcome by emotion, I uttered a line that has been quoted in my family for over thirty years: "No more sewing by hand!"
Now I'm fairly certain that I had not been working my little fingers to the bone sewing with needle and thread up until that time, but I still recall the relief I felt at the site of that little blue sewing machine. Oh the luxury!
After Christmas, when we returned from my grandparents' house, I set up my mini-Singer next to my mom's full sized machine, and together we would while away contented afternoons with our needlework.
I began by sewing together scraps of material, learning how the machine's foot-pedal worked and how fast to push the material past the needle. Eventually I worked my way up to designing and assembling funny looking little purses, all of which I gave to my mom. I liked to sew on little buttons, or appliqués, too, just to dress things up a bit. You know, for a little extra fabulousness.
Somehow, though I don't recall how or why, I must have lost my enthusiasm for sewing, because today I can barely reattach a button. It's an embarrassing gap in my otherwise thorough mastery of a wide array of "girly" skills.
For her last Christmas, I gave my mom a new sewing machine to replace the clunky old Singer she had used for at least twenty years. By that point in her life, she didn't do much sewing (when I was a kid she made many of her own clothes, as well as outfits for my sisters and me), but I thought she might still enjoy a nice new machine with a few bells and whistles.
As it turned out, she never had a chance to take the machine out of the box, so it is gathering dust at my dad's house. I've asked him to bring it to me the next time he comes to visit, and he agreed. I think I would like to go back to my sewing lessons.
Some of my shirts really need appliqués.