Claire looks in and asks for a safety pin. I wager that the combination of nascent two-year-old fine-motor skills and my close eye will remove any threat of injury. I watch her rub it between her fingers, while I unwind brown thread and ready myself to stitch the back of the teddy bear that’s come loose at the seams from rough, toddler hands.
Claire watches me too. She wants the thread I've just cut. I give it to her, and start unraveling the spool again for the real work. I stop and look up at my daughter, though, the thread wrapped around my hand now. She licks the end of her piece and pretends to thread the safety pin.
Claire's so accurately mimicking me. I hadn’t realized that she’d been studying me so closely the few times I’ve sewn on a button or hand-stitched a hem.
But then I remember.
When I was a little kid, I thought everything my mother did was magical and mysterious. Really, my mother was magical and mysterious. In her hand, anything was capable of transformation -- just like the sewing box.
My mom could kiss my skinned knee and make it better. She could take the sphere of a smooth egg, and expose a runny inside with one swift tap of the wrist on a hard surface. She could untwist her hair from a roller to display a perfectly bouncing curl.
I don't remember watching anyone the way I watched my mom, like my daughter watches me now.
Cracking an egg, sewing on a button -- a mom’s humble, everyday toil. Some people might dismiss these tasks as "women's work". Others might overlook them as commonplace, domestic duties. Still others might value individual expression and personal achievement over life's daily chores.
In the eyes of a child, simple gestures make a mama. In turn, they grow a child.
Connect with: Bloglovin', FB, Twitter, G+, Pinterest
Linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday, "When I was a little kid, I thought..."