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I lost a piece of my childhood yesterday

April 25th, 2004 · No Comments

It was only gone for about fifteen minutes, but yesterday morning I had thought I lost a piece of my childhood forever.

My mom gave me a yellow polka-dot cape and matching purse that I had as a girl. Abigail likes them and has started carrying the little purse places.


Yesterday morning she took it to the Farmer’s Market. When we got back in the van, she told me the button was missing. All that was left behind were threads, loose threads. We had to take Michaela to gymnastics so we couldn’t go back and check. As I pulled away from the parking space, I wondered what to do. I was a little upset. Not a lot. But it was sad to think that part of my past had been lost. Just a little piece. A thirty-year-old plastic daisy button.

Then again, if I want to preserve my past, I should put it in a museum. It’s not fair to Abigail to let her play with my things and then get upset if something happens. That’s life. Buttons fall off. Clothes tear. Toys break.

And it’s not as if I want my girls to feel they are living in a museum. Don’t touch. Don’t break. Don’t breathe. I want them to play and enjoy their toys. I want them to have fun. I want them to have their own childhood. Their own adventures to remember: mommy’s old purse or not.

Hey, maybe getting a new button for the purse was what we needed to do. It would make the purse belong to Abigail. It would give her her own memories.

Fortunately we live in a day and age when finding a daisy button is not difficult. All one has to do is go to the fabric store. (The thought came to me: perhaps this is why fashion is cyclical: mothers want to see their daughters wearing the same daisy buttons they did as a girl Or is it that their own masterpieces from their childhood break and need repair?!)

As we drove to gymnastics, I told Abigail we could get a new button. No big deal. I imagined we’d get something different than a daisy. Give it some Abigail character. It’d be fun.

After we left Michaela at the gym with Ted and picked up Elisabeth from her class, I asked Abigail if we should go back and check for the button. Although at first I had been upset about what was lost, I already didn’t care. Perhaps getting a new one would be better for my girls. Perhaps that was the lesson I needed to learn.

But Abigail wanted to go look for the button. We were able to get a parking space close to our previous one. Staring at the sidewalk, we got out of the van and walked across the street. There on the sidewalk we spied it. Abigail saw it first. A yellow circle of button.


For fifteen minutes I lost a part of my childhood. But by the time I found it, I realized that I needed to let it go.

Tags: motherhood