Buttons

I have done poorly at writing this for a month. I lack time, I lack discipline, I lack inspiration. Tonight, I opened up my mother’s old button tin for my husband to find a button, and memories ambushed me. The Little Grey Rabbit card game I used to play with my brother and sister, with the buttons acting as tokens. The favourite buttons we all used to fight over. Then the buttons from my dad’s cardigans, and the buttons from my mum’s blazer. The buttons that were sewn onto the childhood dresses I wore, including one particularly itchy red knitted dress. The buttons that looked like unbaked pie crusts. We stood and looked through the contents, then my husband chose a candidate suitable for trouser security and I replaced the lid. An old tin that originally held shortbread petticoat tails, watched over by a lurid Loch Ness Monster. Now Nessy is the guardian of a treasure trove of circular plastic and metal. Sets of buttons with one missing, kept by in case another turned up to complete the set, their garments now long gone. My parents’ reluctance to relinquish the past married to an ethos of make do and mend.

Advertisements