The sewing machine whirred and hummed. I stood outside the door, listening to the buzzing of the machine, and the puff of the steam iron as Mum worked to turn that fabric into my skirt. Not long now.
"It's all done. Why don't you try it on?"
I flew to my room, skirt clutched to my chest. Done at last! Now I would ear it. I slid it on, and reached for the zipper. And then stopped. Where was the zipper tab for me to pull it up by? I groped around. Where was it? The zipper was there, but the tab wasn't
No, wait. There it was. On the inside of the skirt! The zipper was inside out. It was a perfect zipper, the best zipper in a homemade skirt I'd ever had, but it was inside out. Whoops!
Not that it mattered to me. I didn't mind sliding my fingers down the inside of my skirt to undo the zip. It was one of my favourite skirts, and I loved wearing it, inside out zipper and all. It was a sad day when I handed it down the line to the next sister to wear.
A few weeks ago, the time came to sort out the winter clothes. Large storage boxes sat in the hallway and clothing strewed the house. And then, out of the piles of clothes, came the skirt with the inside out zipper.
My second youngest sister, Sophie, pounced on it with a cry of delight. "I remember this skirt. Do you think I'd fit it this year?" Much to her delight, it did fit. She put it on, and danced around the room in her new, hand-me-down skirt with the inside out zipper. It didn't matter to her about the mistake. She just loved the skirt.
So really, it doesn't matter about little mistakes like those. Because a skirt with an inside zipper can be just as well loved as any other skirt, especially when it's made by your mother with love.