Once upon a late summer afternoon, just before the new school year began, my youngest daughter, all of age 9, was bored. She asked if I might help her learn to cross stitch, and I was delighted to comply. First, I let her sift through my charts until she found a pattern she liked. Next, I gave her a slender tapestry needle, some sturdy Aida fabric stretched in a small hoop, and a few skeins of DMC floss. She proved to be a quick learner, and soon she was happily stitching away. I can see her still in mind’s eye, perched there on the living room loveseat, glancing up from her embroidery with a valiant, “Look what I can do!” grin.
When her lovely star was complete, she felt satisfied. She set her hoop aside and scampered off to play. School started. She stashed her hoop in a drawer.
Leaves turned scarlet, snowflakes fell, violets unfurled. Soon, it would be Mother’s Day, and she knew just what she’d do. She unearthed some white floss, took up her needle, and carefully stitched three small letters into the fabric. She paused, surveyed the letters, then underscored them with one final, affirming stitch. There. Now her gift was ready.
On Mother’s Day when I unwrapped her small offering, I wrapped her up in a huge hug. It was a perfect gift: a moment of captured time to hold in my hand and cherish forever, a daughter’s love made visible, a treasure in thread.