‘Singing for my supper’ it seemed like, or perhaps more to fulfill the adage ‘hard work pays good dividends’.
That is exactly what we grew up in the knowledge of, living the reality come gift- receiving time – here it being birthdays in specific, Christmas at times, and the stray gift-for-no-reason at-all moments.
I don’t particularly recall seeing my siblings toil thus, but on note exchange I find that we’ve each been in the same boat sometime in our growing years to have had it impressed clear.
It may be noted that the gift or gifts in question, would not necessarily be one insisted upon by the receivers but that which was considered good by the giver. (However, always appreciated by us the ‘giftees’, in totality at the outcome).
Most tedious of all days in effect , turned out to be at the eve of the occasion, where our Mother dear, in keeping with her deadline, would seat herself at the sewing machine feet pedaling and wheel whirring over-time, to complete the task at hand notwithstanding the hours.
Not really comprehending what the other issues were, time and brighter light were the two distinctly significant deterrents that glared looming at her sewing, because there was never enough of it.
Assistant to the mission would eventually be our designed designate. Appointed to station was always to be the one whose outfit was being sewn and there she’d be positioned over mum’s left shoulder with the big ‘ever-ready’ family torch in hand trying to balance, aim and focus at just the exact spot where Mother, our captain at the wheel, would need it to beam upon. Most trying it would be for me because never could I figure out where that ‘exact spot’ was. Weary arms would struggle to keep itself steady and un- wavering but never could it match Mom’s perfect pre-requisite.
This undertaking was a sure chore and I had begun to get a strong dislike toward.
My only light at the end of this tunnel was the beautiful outcome of loveliness that I would be adorned in and the effect that I would always be metamorphosed into, creating the ‘ugly-duckling-beautiful-swan ‘image which dispelled every shadow of detestation of the labour involved.
Christmas time! Shopping for loved ones, presents on the tree all a labour of love. While our homes are being turned out almost pretty picture perfects, a thorough clean-up of heart and mind alongside is my resolve to settle on laboring toward. I know this too will be an arduous one, just as it once was by my Mother’s sewing machine… but…Dear Ugly Duckling, the beautiful Swan wants to stay.