Once upon a time there was a little girl with eyes that looked like junior mints.
She smiled and laughed and her parents and older brother loved and adored her.
The little girl had a streak so stubborn and independent her mother gave up long ago trying to bend it. Perhaps it was about the time the girl was a one year old and would take off her shoes and put them on the wrong foot no matter how many times her mother switched them back.
The little girl grew older but no less independent. Her mother took her to a Young Women activity one day where they were making aprons in preparation for the pioneer trek they were taking in the summer.
In the beginning stages, because the girl had never really sewn much before, the mother said, "Do you need help?"
The girl said, "No."
The mother was helping the girl iron a fold prior to sewing. The mother took the iron and the girl said, "I will do it." The mother quickly handed back the iron because she recognized that tone of voice.
The girl was pinning fabric. The mother asked if she needed help.
She used one of her YW leader's sewing machines because her mother's
sewing machine was uncooperative. The mother knew it had something to
do with the tension but after that her knowledge of such things ground
to a halt.
Later, after the girl had been at another table, pinning and measuring, she returned to where the mother was chatting with her friends. "How are you doing?" the mother asked.
"I'm fine," the girl said, "Why do you keep asking me how I'm doing?"
"I meant with the apron," the mother said.
"Oh. It's fine."
The mother chatted some more with her friends. Her voice was more or less recovered so it was nice to be sort of social again. The girl toiled away on the apron.
She goofed a little. "Do you want me to help?" asked the mother.
"No," said the girl, "I've got it." The girl picked out the errant stitches and resewed and sewed some more.
One of the mother's friends said, "You're such a good mother."
The mother was a little surprised. Where was that coming from?
"You're letting her do it herself," the friend explained.
The mother appreciated the positive spin on her parenting but if the truth be told, the mother had zero choice in the matter.