Sophie: Mum! You have to fix Bob's* shirt!
Sophie: Because I saw him wearing a T-shirt and it was ripped all the way down the side so I told him to go and change it and bring it here and you would fix it.
Me, thinking about all our mending I don't do, and wishing Sophie wasn't quite so benevolent: But...
Sophie: His Mum doesn't have a sewing machine and you do.
Me, wondering if we might cause offense if we go around offering to mend people's clothes: Is it alright with his Mum?
Sophie: Yeah. He's just coming.
Me, realising that because I've already made a stew which is happily bubbling away on its own, that I do actually have time to do some mending right now. I've run out of excuses so I keep my mouth shut.
Soon Bob and his brother turn up with a T-shirt and a pair of shorts each all badly in need of repair. I sit at the sewing machine wondering when village seamstress became part of my job description. I definitely didn't include it. The five children race around the living room all terribly excited.
Half way through the first pair of shorts Glen turns up. I wonder about his shorts in the cupboard that I still haven't mended. He sits down.
Glen: I'm glad you're doing their mending. I thought about my shorts and wondered why you don't mend for me. For only two seconds. And then I thought about how many other pairs of shorts I have and I'm really glad you're doing this.
I start to stop simmering away. I see how delighted the boys are to have their shorts repaired. I'm glad Sophie is kind and helpful and wish I could be more like her.
* not his real name