Mama, she says, I want you to make me Fred. Just like that, no sweet talk, just a tiny furrow between her brows. A good idea brewing.
Like, Fred from Stella and Sam? The dog? A stuffed animal?
Yes, she says, like I am slow to catch on. Yes.
Suddenly our night is so much more than dinner and cuddles and a bath. We pull out bins of fabric and she makes her choice – brown polka dots and a tiny pink nose. She climbs onto the table beside me to watch me work, makes blankets for her other toys out of colorful fabric scraps.
This is sewing on the fly – no pattern or measurements. Only a few slender pins and a little luck. Balls to the wall, my husband says.
Indeed. Balls to the wall.
But out of the fabric and thread, shapes start to take place. Four plump legs and a quirky tail. A soft body and a face.
Fred! she cries when I hand her the toy. The head nearly falls off. She loves it anyway.
And this, this is what we come for. The making something out of nothing, spinning magic from thin air. An idea and imagination and the belief that yes, you can. More of this, please. More and more.