My grandmother’s needle and thread obsession ruined my mother’s Easter Sunday as a child | tracey folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by my mother, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

When my mother was a child, my grandmother was a fanatic about reinforcing the seams and buttons on her children’s brand new clothes. One Easter, her fanaticism cost my mother the opportunity to wear her pretty new Easter outfit on Easter Sunday.

My mother has never forgotten it.

Easter this year falls on Sunday, April 17, 2022. On an Easter Sunday nearly seventy years ago, my mother couldn’t wear her brand new Easter outfit because my grandmother hadn’t finished reinforcing the seams, adding thread to the buttons, and tightening the buttonholes.

My mother felt heartbroken because she had been looking forward to wearing her new dress and jacket to church on Sunday. Her friends and siblings of her got all dressed up on Easter Sunday while my mother had to wear her old clothes all day. She didn’t even go to church with her family because she had nothing nice to wear.

According to my mother, she kept looking longingly at the large cardboard box on the top shelf of her mother’s closet that contained what was supposed to be her Easter Sunday attire as the day approached. Unfortunately, her mother did not take the hint.

My grandmother would not allow an article of clothing to be worn until she had tightened every buttonhole, added thread to every button, and handstitched over every stitch on every seam and every hem. No exceptions. It was a massive undertaking, especially with four growing children in the house.

By the time Easter morning arrived, the buttons, buttonholes, and seams on my mother’s new outfit remained unreinforced. Unfortunately, my grandmother had been so busy sewing the clothing for the other children that my mother’s clothes never made it out of the box in the closet.

My mother didn’t mind wearing the outfit “as-is,” but my grandmother was having none of it.

Thanks to my grandmother’s zealous use of her needle and thread, my mother said she never had a button fall off one of her shirts or sweaters. Her seams from her never split, and her hems from her never fell. Despite all those extra threads running through her wardrobe, she was n’t happy.

“Happiness is wearing your new clothes whenever you want,” my mother said. “I don’t think the Easter Bunny cared about buttons and threads. Do you?”

No, I don’t think the Easter Bunny would care about buttons and threads. My mother’s story is a reminder that sometimes adults can get too caught up in the details and ruin the fun for kids.

Easter is a time for joy, not frustration. I’m glad my mother was able to look back on the incident with humor. After all, it is a pretty funny story. I’m sure her friends and siblings of her got a good laugh out of it too.

Buttons and threads are important, but they shouldn’t come between a child and their new Easter outfit. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

Easter is a time to celebrate, so let’s keep the focus on what really matters: spending time with family, eating delicious food, and enjoying the spring weather. Happy Easter everyone!

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