Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lessons from Mom: Pins and Needles

I am an ardent admirer of safety pins. I love the small ones especially, for their sweet look and elegant design, but these large diaper pins are amazing too. I have any number of clothes which would fall off me without safety pins. Mostly, this is sheer laziness of course, because I can never find a BUTTON when I need one (unlike the ladies at i made it so, or Magpie's Nest who are true connoisseurs and artists of the BUTTON world).  Then there are some outfits are so bizarrely constructed that without safety pins, all dignity and decorum, by which I set great store, would be lost (SARI, all you Indian ladies, but it's true).

The other day I was hurriedly wearing a skirt whose waist is too large for me. I keep a pin permanently attached to the waistband for this reason, but this morning, I couldn't push it through the cloth.  In fact, I pushed so hard with no effect but to bend the pin into a useless little mangle. And then I remembered a visual image which I don't think I have thought of since my childhood.

We were a large family (five girls, two boys) and as one of the oldest, I saw a parade of babies growing up. It was cloth diapers all the way (I'm talking ancient history) and there was always a set of pins stuck in the bar of soap by the kitchen sink, close to the changing table. Mom had two sets and they were constantly circulating - out of the soap, they glided through the cloth as easily as a skiff through the sea.

My daughter, Moy Moy, uses disposables, but the lesson remains: sharp points are necessary to accomplish anything in life, but soap, like courtesy, kindness and the odd sincere smile, softens the passage and cleanses the soul.

Of course, it was Ivory Soap Mom used: 99.44% pure.


Entropy said...

The Soap So Pure It Floats!

For more than a century, Ivory Bar Soap has been known for its purity, versatility, and ability to float. It's consistency and quality have made it an indispensable product in American homes.

Many Americans grew up with Ivory Soap in their home and images of Ivory on their televisions and radios. As a result, Ivory's light scent and memorable slogans evoke fond memories of simpler times.

ana @ i made it so said...

oh jo... wonderfully written. and i do like the special edit you did ;)

~*~Patty S said...

you write so beautifully and shine a sweet light on the humble safety pin ... I find myself drawn to them as well...different sizes and colors even

our boys all had cloth diapers...your Mom's soap tip would have come in handy...

thank you for the sweet mention

Moy Moy is such a precious name!
Brightest of Blessings to your and yours

Jo Chopra McGowan said...

Thanks to the creative ladies!

Patty, Moy Moy means "little sister" in Cantonese. We named our Moy after my sister, who is from Hong Kong.