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Thursday, April 25, 2024

The sweater that my mother knitted

This morning, while drinking coffee, I looked at the sleeves of my sweater and asked myself: How old is he? It's customary for me to get out of bed in my pajamas, put on this old sweater, and walk around in zombie mode to make my breakfast. I drank my first sip of coffee accompanied by a slice of bread spread with butter and jam, remembering how long I've been drinking coffee with bread. I calculated at least 70 years. 

I am grateful to life for having this tranquility in which time goes on forever, encouraging me to connect with myself and to be myself again.

I remembered my mom's voice calling us to breakfast: “Girls, breakfast is already served! Hurry up, you're going to be late for school." On class days we only drank a banana smoothie, what shocked us? to which he put an egg and a little cinnamon to hide the taste of it and the vitamins. He put the cake in our backpack to eat at recess time. 

The sweater my mother knitted. Photo: Estela Calapiz

In Mexico, in my time, in my family, on weekends it was customary to have coffee with milk and bread, orange juice and eggs prepared in many ways; my mother managed to vary each day: warm ?3 minutes with small pieces of bolillo inside a bowl?, scrambled with potatoes or ham, with chorizo, green beans, chayote, Mexican style, rancheros, hard, and so on.

Growing up, when I was a teenager, my mom tried to give me the smoothie, but it didn't work for me. It tasted awful! So he let me have black coffee and bread ?like now?. I didn't have time to eat much breakfast because I had to get to vocational school? High school? that I was very far away. My mother was not usually very affectionate, she showed her love by feeding us well, she wanted us to eat as healthy as possible; I think it worked because my family has been very healthy.

It had been a long time since I thought about my mom, I never had "mommy." This reflection came to me when looking at the sleeve of this sweater. Knitting for us was another way of showing her love; embroider the sheets and tablecloths. She was very neat and clean, as well as being an excellent cook.

This sweater represents my mother's affection; when I put it on, it's next to me. I travel to the past, to those hours when I knitted or embroidered while waiting for my dad to come home from work. She took advantage of all the time creating, feeling satisfied with her crafts; I never saw her upset about that, even when my dad was late and tired from work. She wasn't submissive either, she had a very strong character, she could get angry about many things, except for knitting.

The sweater my mother knitted. Photo: Estela Calapiz

The tissues that remain are their footprint. Now I am aware of her affection, that of the newly pregnant woman waiting for her children to be born?us?, for whom she knitted jackets for us, embroidered the sheets for our cribs and later those for our beds; custom that continued to the next generation. Weaving and embroidering the layettes of her grandchildren.

At some time I have judged the difficulty of showing your affection by hugging us or playing with us. He never did! however, she was always by our side when we got sick, giving us medicine or taking food to bed, even though she didn't like us eating in the bedroom. Now I understand that many parents in those days worried more about feeding us and doing school. 

My mom always thought it was important to eat well so that we grew up healthy. My dad brought the money and she was in charge of everything related to the interior of the home.

In this time, life changes in different ways, as both parents work, I have realized that, in some families, children eat very poorly "junk food". I have heard that the relationship is to monitor them through the cell phone, their demonstration of love is at least, when saying goodbye to them, to say a routine "I love you". 

Due to economic deprivation, many children spend, as babies, in a nursery. It is not my intention to judge. Both in the past and in the present, there have been and continue to be parents aware of the responsibility of bringing children into the world, parents who can show their affection and support them emotionally. They are not only aware of your qualifications.

Going back to the sweater that my mother knitted, it is still in good condition and when I put it on I feel her love and affection, all of her is here in the present. It's not just its energy, maybe its fingerprints in the DNA of the tissue. It's in my blood! There are those intimate moments with herself, there are her warm hands on the yarn that rested on her legs as I would have wanted to be when I was a child, touching her body with my little arms, in the same way that the yarn and the fabric were in contact with she. 

I feel the nostalgia for her physical contact, that's why every night I wrap myself in this sweater, I feel like she's the one that covers me when I dream. Sometimes I hug myself with this perfect fabric, I know that it was not only for me since she knitted it, but that it continued to be with me and it will continue to be there for my daughter when I die.

More by the author: What a Wonder, to reach my age and have everything!