Child #1, like her mother, settled on her career choice in fourth grade. For me it was law, for her it's fashion design.
Apparently, if one wants to be a fashion designer, they need a sewing machine and sewing lessons.
My daughter begged for a Bernina sewing machine for Christmas, which is the equivalent of begging for a new Mercedes for your first car.
One quick look at the $2000 starter model was enough to send me straight to Craigslist where I found a very gently used Bernette at a much happier price.
Which is all good except, as my mother put it when she inspected the Bernette on Christmas morning, "It's a lot of machine for a little girl."
"Hmmm," I said and then I shrugged because I don't know the first thing about sewing. Literally, nothing!
I am the woman who, on noting the seam had come out of her skirt hem earlier this week, stood up, turned it around and fixed it with a quick row of staples. Which is exactly how they teach you to do it in law school.
There were some immediate successes. I am now the proud owner of three coffee cup warmers, an odd little purse made out of something blue and fuzzy and one napkin. "Make three more and I'll use them on the dinnertable," I suggested.
So far that suggestion has gone unheeded.
But failure is where you learn the hard stuff and my lack of knowledge about sewing means Child #1 has had to go it on her own. In fact, the only thing I do know about sewing is that eventually something goes wrong.
A few weeks ago there was a shriek of pure anguish from the basement. "I can't thread the bobbin," she wailed as she stomped upstairs.
"A bobbin," I said and handed her a sandwich. "That sounds like something you'd wear to meet the Queen. Don't forget to put on your bobbin and bring sixpence."
She glared at me.
The bobbin drama was followed by a novel approach to patching her father's jeans. Instead of closing the hole at the knee she sewed the entire leg shut. We offered help, but it was summarily rejected.
She's made herself several skirts of interesting length, but it wasn't until she whipped up the dress pictured here that the benefits of my sewing cluelessness became clear.
Instead of sitting at my side and patiently taking direction she's busy forging her own trail. Mistakes and frustrations will be plentiful, which is okay because success, when it comes, will be that much more satisfying.
As for me, I'm gathering a nice collection of her early works and waiting for her to get a little bit better before I hand my skirt over to see if she can do something about my staple hem job.
Did you follow in the footsteps of your parents or blaze your own trail?