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Mother of the year

I bought a new dress with a long red and white sash. My 4-year-old, who has a flair for attaching great sentimental value to the most worthless of items, laid eyes on that sash and immediately determined to claim it as her own. She set her thieving plan in motion when I wasn’t around by asking her dad most sweetly if she could play with it. He saw no harm, and handed it over.

Once I discovered the sash was gone, I immediately went to her “secret” stash-hiding place, found the prized sash (as well as a vacuum attachment I’ve been missing), and put it away, only to repeat the same process several times over the next few days.

Finally, I told her enough was enough. No more playing with the red and white sash. It is mine.

She begged me to make her one of her own, and I half-heartedly agreed, hoping she would forget our little agreement with enough distraction.

She forgot. And then she remembered. And remembered. And remembered. There was no more putting it off. I had told her I would make a sash (or a long piece of fabric, as she accurately called it), and so I must fulfill that promise.

I retrieved my mom’s 1970-something sewing machine from my basement, set it up on the kitchen table, and told Lydia, “I have no idea what I’m doing. This may not happen today.”

She hovered close-by, whispering words of encouragement as I struggled with my most-feared element of sewing: threading the machine. The bobbin was in place, and I thanked my lucky stars for that because even after a summer sewing class when I was 12, lessons from my mom, lessons from a friend, and lessons from my husband, I still have absolutely no idea what the bobbin is. I get all rashy if the bobbin needs to “be threaded.” What does that even mean?

After a few minutes of studying the machine, I discovered a diagram on threading the needle. With another warning to Lydia to not get her hopes too high, I hesitatingly followed that diagram — and was completely surprised when I found success!  Lydia and I both cheered.

Remembering something about “wrong sides” or “bad sides” or something of that nature, I sewed the “wrong sides” (I think) of Lydia’s two chosen fabric pieces together. I then spent almost an eternity turning those pieces right-side-out. I’m sure there was an easier way, but I am certainly not equipped to discover such a way.

Bewildering to me, my goofy Lydia was — and still is — thrilled with her uneven sash that I think still needs to be ironed before it can be called complete.

Thank goodness for 4-year-olds and low expectations.

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