This evening Timothy was on a mission with a capital M.
Now, I know it's hard to believe, but I just didn't have a spring handy. What I did have, however, was a deadline, so bad, bad mommy I was totally ... unhelpful.
"Can I get some stuff from your sewing basket?" he asked a few minutes later.
Remember the deadline? Since I was in the middle of a paragraph I mumbled something that could have been yes, or it could have been no.
Timothy took it as a yes.
One paragraph later, he had unspooled (did I just make up that word?) two spools of thread, unscrewed the screw (are you following me?) from a cross stitch hoop and took off the clasp, spilled Elmer's glue on the tablecloth, and went to work gluing and building while wearing my thimble (he got glue on that, too).
"What's this?" he asked a little later, holding up a wooden egg.
"That is used for darning socks," I told him.
He was confused. I could tell.
"When a sock has a hole in the toe, you put the egg inside to provide structure while you sew the hole closed," I explained.
"Can I have it?" he asked.
I thought about that darning egg, and remembered how Nonna took me shopping for some basic sewing supplies after I announced my engagement to the family. My Nonna was a professional seamstress -- in fact, I have many childhood memories of Nonna pedaling her sewing machine while she made everything from sundresses and Halloween costumes for us, to ball gowns for my Barbie dolls -- so the fact that I was getting married meant, in Nonna's world, that I required a sewing needle, some thread, and a good darning egg. Thanks to Nonna, I was ready to set up housekeeping.
"No," I quietly told my son. "That was a special gift from my Nonna, and I need to keep it."
I have had that darning egg for almost twenty-five years; I may have never once used it, but it has always been in my sewing basket.
And as Timothy ran off to test his catapult, I thought how sometimes it's the small things -- a pebble, a ticket stub, a wooden egg -- that contain the biggest memories.
"Grazie, cara Nonna," I quietly whispered, as I carefully put the egg back in its place.