Tonight I sewed a button on a pair of shorts for Snowman.
He's packing his bag to return to Mitten-Shaped State, where he has a summer job on the stage crew at Land o' Lakes. He'll live in the dorm by the lake and try to make himself useful as well as decorative. As we are all saying around here this summer, it's good to have a job. He'll be housed and fed and even earn a little money, and he'll get to be in his favorite place for eight more weeks.
Snowman will go off this summer without the stress of auditions and
placements; he knows himself and his capacities better than a year ago,
and the mystery of where his education might take place has been
resolved. He's going on 19, a young man, and this is just the first of
many nearly grown-up good-byes.
I don't sew often, though my mother tried to teach me the rudiments. I'm afraid I fear the addition of a machine to the process, perhaps because her old-fashioned machine seemed so hard to manage.
But I like the peaceful drawing of thread through needle, the piercing of fabric and the snug attachment of a button. Snowman's madras shorts came with a handsome brown button, and I sat in the kitchen to repair the damage while he checked one last load in the dryer.
Getting ready to go is part of his life. Seeing him off is part of mine. And although both boys come and go now, I find we are attached as firmly as the button, connected by invisible threads, carefully criss-crossed, tied off with love.