She made me a scarf at Christmas.
Crocheted by her little hands, the same hands my grandmother had and that I have.
Sky blue cozy yarn. To match my eyes and to keep me warm. All through the long cold Scottish winter.
I wore it double wrapped around my neck for all of January and February. And even March.
When she finished the scarf, she had enough yarn to make another small warmer. A thin neck wrap that would button just underneath my chin. Just a little something.
Right before she flew back to Arkansas she finished working the leftover yarn into this small accessory. It had two button holes but we didn’t have any buttons.
“You’ll have to get some buttons for it and finish it,” she told me as she packed her bags.
Off she went and into the closet went the little wrap. I had my big scarf to wear. No concern for finding buttons for the small one. I looked once or twice. But in general, as with a lot of things, I don’t know where to buy a big chunky button in Scotland.
Last week my sister arrived with a suitcase full of treasure for my family. Goldfish and peanut butter. Reese’s cups and new clothes. Cheerios and games and markers. From this pile of loot she pulled out a pair of buttons and handed them to me.
“Mother said you would need these,” she shrugged.
The scarf. The one in the closet that I had forgotten.
She knew I would not get around to finding buttons. She probably doubts whether or not I will even sew them on but she sent them anyway.
Sometimes, when you live in a far-away-from-home country you can feel like everyone you know has moved on with their lives that no longer intersect with yours. It can be easy to feel a little forgotten, even when you are not.
And then a couple of small buttons no bigger than the palm of your hand cause a tsunami wave of knowing love to wash over you.
I am carrying the buttons in my front jeans pocket at the moment to remind me that there is someone in the world who knows me well. Even better than I know myself sometimes.
When I picture her going and finding buttons to send to me, the ones I don’t remember that I need, I have a little ache inside me. I long to be the kind of mother she is.
I want to be able to touch my kids in some small point of intimate knowing that will remind them that they are so very loved. That I have them in my heart no matter how far away they are.
Happy Mother’s Day to my Mama!