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Sunday, April 7, 2013

My mother sewed... and I remember...

     I had a moment of surprise today that I'm still pondering with a bit of awe.  It is kind of like that moment that I put the boys bike chain back on. In my head I saw my Father's hands do it and I just knew what to do.
     It happened today with Chandler, but the video memory I had came from Mom.
Chandler is sewing.  My precious child simply jumped into the sewing pool with both feet. On Moms last visit, she spent all day shopping with Chandler for material and patterns and shared with her from a well-spring of sewing knowledge.
     There would, however,  be no "super simple" or "easy to sew" patterns for my redhead. She wanted what she wanted, and that was that.
     "That's pretty ambitious," I told her yesterday as we shopped for another pattern, but I couldn't really explain why I thought so when she asked me.  It has been almost 40 years since I've sewed anything.  In the end, Chandlers strong will provided all the confidence she needed and I couldn't help but smile.  "Go for it." I told her.
     Chandler and I could not look more different physically but beneath her pale skin, blue eyes, and red hair lies a spirit I know intimately. I really get her. She is, at age 24, so much like I was at 24 that it stuns me sometimes.
     This child now sits and my kitchen table, patterns and material covering them both, and I remember...
     In my childhood, mother spoke through the straight pins she held between her lips or as she bent over a pattern on the floor with scissors in her hand.
     Today I was working on taxes. Papers in piles all over the floor of the living room, so as the purr of Chandler's sewing machine filled the room,  it soothed and comforted me in a way I did not expect and I saw my mothers foot against the pedal of her own machine. I remembered the excitement and anticipation of the new dress.
     "Mom!" Chandler shouted. "I need your help."
     I sat down beside her and could hear my mother voice. I saw her fussing with the patterns, turning them this way and that and suddenly I knew what Chandler had done wrong. I could see it. Crazy.
     Chandler is going to be amazing behind the sewing machine. I believe this.  With a legacy of love and a heritage already in place, Mimi will simply pass the baton and answer all her questions until the day Chandler makes patterns of her own.  I think she's gonna take to this like a duck to water and I smile as I write this.
     Thank you Mom!  Your love from behind the sewing machine formed and blessed me as a little girl and is coming full circle back to me as a mother. Our little Chan is sewing! I love you.