I don’t often hear my mom reminisce about her childhood, but while we were walking into the Thurston County Fair this past weekend she indulged for a brief moment. She wasn’t loud, nor was she boastful. In fact, if I hadn’t been walking right next to her, and had I not stopped to look at her, I may of listened to what she said but not heard her at all.
We arrived at the fair as soon as it opened, with the goal of exploring before the crowds and the heat descended. (It worked). My kids, husband, mom and I surveyed the grounds, trying to figure out our plan of attack. It was somewhere between the animal rescue barn and the pigs, that she quietly mentioned her county fair memory: the blue ribbon she had won for sewing as a teen. The moment now plays back like slow motion in my head. In the excitement of our surroundings, being pulled by a seven year-old in one direction and tugged by a four year-old in the other, I nearly blew-off her comment as if she were talking about the salmon she had for dinner the night before. But this was about her and her impeccable sewing abilities. It was personal to her. And I realized it was personal to me–I was proud of her.
Coincidentally, we stumbled upon the large pavilion that happened to have quilts, appliqués, weavings, and knitting. Inside, a number of volunteers descended on the kids and taught them how to use the loom, spin yarn with a drop spindle, and braid yarn into a cord. Both kids were engrossed, especially my son. We ended up staying in that grand hall, surrounded by all that fabric, thread, and yarn, for nearly an hour. It felt just like the fair experience we were meant to have.