And for good reason.

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My mom and I talked on the phone every day this week, as per usual. She’s visiting me this weekend, and as we were chatting yesterday, she asked, “Do I need to bring my sewing machine?” Every time she visits, she asks this question, and I know she asks my sister and brother the very same question when she visits them.

When she asks, I always have a flash of memories—of her, sitting at our dining room table, foot at the ready on the sewing machine pedal, threading the needle, sifting through her bags of threads and spools and ribbons. I also inevitably remember her tomato-shaped pincushion, which I’m certain is older than I am.

My mom is a maker and a doer. She has sewn countless curtains, pillows, and dresses, and she has hemmed innumerable items of clothing for friends and family—all in her spare time. She fashioned every costume I ever wore during a decade of community theatre, including intricate brocade medieval gowns and a spot-on re-creation of the blue dress from Alice in Wonderland (which was every little girl’s dream, including mine).

Whether it was Oliver! the Musical or Fiddler on the Roof, I was always wearing one of my mom’s creations. No time period could stump my mom and her sewing machine. Once, she even fashioned a magic carpet costume for a production of Aladdin, complete with tassel earrings, which, of all the costumes I ever wore, is still my favorite. It was an outfit that could stall even the finest of costumers, but my mom made it happen.  

She always makes it happen. Whatever we need, my brother, sister, and I, she is quick to thread the needle and create something beautiful.

Every time my mom visits my sister, who now has kids of her own, she arrives with the sewing machine in tow. Curtains, pillows, bunting for birthday parties emblazoned with the names of her grandkids—she’s always taking on new projects. She has been good at it all my life, and all of hers—she learned it from her mother. I get the feeling that no matter how challenging the project, being able to present someone she loves with something she created is always worth it.

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