As I was poking around the myriads of disorganized photos I have in iPhoto, I came across this one. My heart leapt for joy because it is actually a sewing success. Naturally, I had nothing to do with it. Anklebiter #1 worked on it painstakingly and in secret in order to surprise me at Christmas. No one helped her with the sewing – or the spelling. (God Jul is Swedish for Merry Christmas.)
My mind hopped like a gleeful kangaroo from: daughter to sewing failures to embarrassing moments. And there – like an unwelcome visitor at midnight – yet another of my I-can-learn-by-failure-but-when? moments popped into my mind.
About five years ago, when the first anklebiter was a toddler, she and I flew to the south of Sweden to stay at a friend’s summer place: a marvellous funky modern house with its own deck and stairs leading straight into the sea. As I knew we would be attending my friends’ large family gathering, I decided to fly in one of my best dresses: a long purple creation that I could float around in and imagine that I looked elegant in.
I wore this dress from the house to the airport, through customs, on the plane, at the other end, and finally, at this very posh outdoor party next to the glittering sea. When I finally took it off that night, I discovered that no one – NO ONE I tell you! – had bothered to point out that…
… there was a huge tear at the back of the dress. A gaping hole that stretched horizontally giving anyone and everyone an eyeful of my bright blue knickers!
(When I asked my friend if she had seen the hole, she replied, “Oh yes! We ALL saw it! But I didn’t want to tell you as it was already too late and it would just have spoilt the day for you…” Little did she know that I might have been able to salvage a few strands of dignity with the nifty use of a stapler, a safety pin or some duct tape!)
That is when I wanted a big hole to appear and swallow me up!