Mending and Cleaning
Mending is a word that we don’t often use. Perhaps it’s because we have become better at avoiding or it’s better to start over or try something new.
I recently mended some of my son’s shorts, well I suppose it wasn’t even mending, it just required a button. The simple task of sewing a button is often neglected but I certainly have vivid memories of my grandmother sitting with her sewing basket and sewing a botton or mending socks. Who would ever mend holes in socks? It actually has a name, darning. We discard and throw away with no thought of salvaging such an item. Is it because the item is much more affordable than it was years ago or is it we no longer care? Probably both, and it’s really not about darning socks. I am not going to repair the growing hole on the heel of anyone’s sock. I’m wondering if it’s a bigger glimpse of who we are as a society? Do we try to mend, repair, restore or heal or are we intentionally or unintentionally willing to discard our possessions or even relationships? We take so much for granted. We have been so fortunate to live through rather prosperous times. My grandmother lived through the depression and 2 World Wars. They saved, re-used and repaired. We are getting better at recycling and repurposing, so hopefully we’re headed in a more conscious awareness of “mending”.
My son is 27 years old and I have no business cleaning his house, or do I?? This is looked down upon as fostering a poor sense of responsibility, or is it? I recently spent a few hours helping him out and that is when I came upon clothing that needed mending.
When I was a child my grandmother, the one with the sewing basket, would come over for the weekend and stay with us. I loved having her visit. She would help my mom, who did not work outside the house, sew curtains, clean windows, polish silver and do some extra chores that weren’t done on a routine basis. My mother had her mother help her once in awhile so really is it so wrong for me to help my son with his house, once in awhile? In my opinion, no, if I’m doing it because I want to versus him asking me to because he doesn’t want to. Can he clean his own house, yes. Does he clean it the way I would, no. Does he keep it as clean as I think he should, no. So every now and then I clean his house and do some mending and maybe I’m mending more than just clothes.
I brought home 4 pairs of shorts, all very well worned and could easily been thrown out, or placed in a bag for those less fortunate. But they still have some life in them. I rummaged through my sewing basket and found buttons for the shorts and came across buttons that were “extras” or fell off clothing which brought back memories of past days. There were buttons from dresses my daughters wore when they were young and of course I came across numerous pewter buttons from Norwegian sweaters that one would never throw away.
It actually was quite relaxing and quite fun to reminisce through my sewing basket and perform this simple task that is rather long-forgotten. I wish I spent more time fostering sewing habits with my kids, (I don’t want to say my girls, because that would be incorrect in this day and age). But I highly recommend giving mending a try.
Maybe the deeper meaning is to be more mindful of “mending” all areas of our lives.