Karen was looking forward to an afternoon of sewing. After she finished Bailey’s dress she could start a blouse for herself.
“Mom, can you teach me to sew?” Bailey, her 11-year-old daughter, hovered over the machine.
Karen frowned. “Lord? Isn’t it enough to learn patience through teaching her to cook? I don’t have to teach her to sew, too, do I?”
Her husband Mark was nearby. “You should teach her, Karen.” He laughed at Karen’s scowl.
Heaving a sigh she prayed Bailey would tire of it in 15 minutes. “Sure. Go get that scrap fabric you had earlier.”
“Yes! Thanks, Mom! You’re the coolest.” Bailey raced off.
“Mark, you’d better pray she doesn’t sew her finger, and if she does you better be here because I’ll throw up!”
“She’ll do fine. Just give her a chance.”
Bailey ran back in. “Here. Now what?”
Karen got a ruler and drew a series of spiraling lines. “Ok. Sew on the line. When you come to a corner put your needle in the corner, lift the presser foot, turn the fabric and sew the next line, working your way to the center.”
Bailey sat in front of the machine and stepped on the pedal. “Aaack!”
“Gently step on the pedal,” Karen instructed her.
Bailey eased her foot down, moving slowly and almost staying on the line. When she came to a corner she followed the directions and executed a perfect turn.
Karen glanced at her watch. Thirteen minutes to go and hopefully she’d be tired of it. Moving away, she started pinning the blouse pattern on the fabric.
“How’s it going?” Karen leaned over Bailey’s shoulder and was glad to see she was almost done. Just a few more minutes and she could get sewing.
Bailey paused in her sewing and looked at Karen. “This is fun, Mom! What do I do next?”
“Next?” Karen looked at her watch. “You’ve been sewing almost 20 minutes. Aren’t you ready to head outside?” she asked hopefully. Hearing the sewing machine was making her antsy to sew.
“No way! I want to keep sewing, Mom.”
Karen groaned. She pulled out a wavy ruler she used for scrapbooking and set to work on another practice piece for Bailey. “I’m a big girl,” she thought. “I can handle letting her sew for a few more minutes.”
“Here, work on this while I cut out my blouse.”
Fifteen minutes later Karen was working on not gnashing her teeth. “Ok, Lord, I need help here, but not like I thought I would! She’s doing great but I’ve got a bad case of Daffy Duck Syndrome.”
“Look, Dad!” Mark came in and Bailey jumped up to show him her work.
“Hey, that’s great, Kiddo! Have you been working this whole time?”
“Yes, she has.” Karen’s voice was strained as she eased in front of the machine and ran her hand along the top of it.
“What’s next, Mom?”
“Nothing. It’s my turn now.”
Mark laughed. “What’s the matter, Hon?”
Karen winked at him, bent over the machine and wrapped her arms around it. “Mine! Mine! It’s all mine!”
Bailey’s eyes rounded. “Mom?”
Mark burst out laughing. “She’s got a bad case of DDS.”
“What’s DDS?” Bailey asked.
“Daffy Duck Syndrome. That’s what we called this behavior when you were little. It’s about killing her that you’re sewing and she can’t.”
“Umm. I don’t think she’s watched Daffy Duck any time recently.”
“Why’s that?” Mark asked.
“He isn’t exactly what you’d call a happy duck.” Bailey said, warily eyeing her mother. “In fact, he’s so selfish he’s miserable and ends up hurting himself with his selfishness.”
Karen wilted back into the chair and moaned. “Oooh, you’re right!” She looked at her daughter, humbled that she had seen something so many people miss. “Ok, here’s the deal. I’ll share my sewing machine with you, but it’s my turn now; I really do need to finish your dress for Sunday.”
Bailey laughed and gave her mother a hug. “I knew you were just playing with me, Mom. You’re not a selfish person.”
Karen swallowed around the lump in her throat. “Lord, help me learn this lesson. Both You and I know just how selfish a person I am and Bailey’s right, I’m only hurting myself with it. Take my selfishness and replace it with Your love for others. Thank You for this daughter You’ve given me and help me learn from her as she learns from me.”
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