Thursday, August 2, 2007

Day late, dollar short.


I've been thinking about my Thanks, Mom post for a while and I thought about just letting it go, because the project is over, but I thought I'd go ahead and write it out, because it won't really leave my head until I do. And goodness knows, there's plenty of junk swirling around in there for it to get lost in. So here goes.


I promised myself that I wouldn't get used to her fancy sewing machine. I promised myself that I didn't like the button for the presser foot rather than the lever. And then I discovered that you didn't even have to push the button, that you just could start sewing and it somehow, magically, knew that the presser foot needed to go down. And there was no tangling of thread and cursing. And I was pretty sure that I still wasn't going to be spoiled.


But then I got home. And I started to resent the simple task of lowering the presser foot. And as I was annoyed by the simplicity of the machine I own (which I LOVE, by the way), I realized the gift my mother had given me.


She gave me the gift of being able to work from home. She gave me the gift of a job that I love. She gave me the gift of creating unique things. I can make things for my children that are one-of-a-kind. I can turn a piece of fabric into a dress for my daughter or a pair of pajamas or a quilt.


But it all started when I was about seven or eight. I'm sure I just ran her out of "no" by asking so many times to "help." She finally relented. I remember sitting down in our giant yellow laundry room at her giant green sewing table at the Singer with a hibiscus sticker on it. She turned it down to snail speed and allowed me to sew the side seam of a nightgown. I'm sure it took about ten minutes to do something that would have taken her less than one. But she let me.


She gave us a giant box of scraps in a hall closet that was ours, just for me and my sisters. We made doll clothes, I think with tape and staples at first, then with needle and thread. I'm sure we made a huge mess -- it makes me cringe to think that I might one day need to do that for my children.

She led me through patterns and fabrics and bought me fabric at the fabric store. She ripped countless seams for me and fixed my mistakes. Heck, she still fixes my mistakes and makes patterns for me and takes me to the fabric store.

So, thanks, Mom. For giving me such a gift. You'll not ever know fully how much I appreciate it and the depth it's given my life. I hope I can share the gift you gave me.

4 comments:

Sister #2 said...

I have to say that I'm grateful that she let me stop taking the awful piano lessons and taught me how to sew - even though my curtains have been waiting to be created since September '06 (no sisty, I still haven't made them!)

Being the proud owner of the late 1960's vintage Viking with the pink hibiscus sticker, I feel really lucky that I have a mom that passes off her old cast off sewing machines to her girls!

#2 said...

Oh, amen to the passing on of the sewing machines. If only we could get her to ditch the really great ones she has now for an even better one! I might have to wrestle you for that!

green.barn said...

My darling daughters, if you really want my two best machines, you will have to wait for my demise. Alternatively, you can talk Dad into buying me the latest and greatest, which he will do over his dead body.

#2 said...

WAIT. He'll buy you a new car, but he won't buy you a new machine? I mean, really, it can't cost THAT much more than the car did...