Patience and Me | Teen Ink

Patience and Me

December 18, 2018
By mailbackwards BRONZE, Round Lake, Illinois
mailbackwards BRONZE, Round Lake, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

This might be an interesting story in of itself. A boy takes a clothing class during his sophomore year of high school. He has never sewn before, but has witnessed his mom repairing clothes, making small drawstring bags and pillow cases. Growing up, he has a hard time completing puzzles, washing dishes, and cleaning the house--activities that require an adequate amount of time to be completed, as well as attention to detail. His family might have thought that because he could not accomplish these tasks, he was going to struggle in the class. But after seeing the work of his mom, he becomes interested in sewing and decides to enroll. He grows into a student passionate about the activity and who shares his story as if it will somehow encourage people to go against the status quo: certain activities are meant for certain people.

Sewing isn’t meant for people with no patience. Hours are spent sitting in place moving a small needle slowly through a piece of fabric to avoid mistakes. One wrong stitch, and a drawstring might not fit, or a pocket might not hold up. I was someone that in one second, was calm and focused while working on a project, but in the next, ripping up papers and crying out of frustration. When I told my sister that I was going to take clothing, she told me to drop the class immediately. She feared that I wouldn’t enjoy it. She thought that I wouldn’t be able to handle the class because I had no patience. She expected that I, her little brother, would give up, come up to her and say, “You were right.”

When I told my mom that I was going to take clothing, however, she was shocked. Like my sister, my mom knew that I had no patience. She saw the failed attempts of paper towels sewn together scattered throughout the house. Out of my two sisters and I, she never thought that I, her only son, her son who could not complete tasks without crying, would partake in an activity that she enjoyed herself.

My family thought that I wasn’t going to last in the class because I had no patience. But I refused to fall subject to this flaw of mine. I was smart. I was determined. I was resilient. I spent time after class working on a project, paying attention to every detail, every stitch, every seam, making sure it was just perfect. I watched YouTube videos of how to repair pants, spending hours repairing my own until my fingers cramped. I took pillows, shirts, sweatpants, observing not only the pattern and quality of the fabric, but the way it was stitched. I showed my mom what I made in class, the pajama pants, the pencil case, the drawstring bag. Her face was left in disbelief. I showed my sister what I made. She didn’t seem to care. All she said was, “that’s cool.” Deep down, however, I know that I got to her. I loved sewing. I loved the process of starting from just a small pile of fabric to a drawstring bag that I could use. I loved hearing stories of mom going around and bragging to her friends and coworkers that I took clothing.

But most importantly, I loved that I was right, that I could do what others thought I couldn’t.


The author's comments:

Imitation inspired by Sherman Alexie's "Superman & Me"


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