I knew it was risky.
I knew it could end badly.
But they told me it couldn’t be done.
They said it was impossible.
“You’re crazy,” they said.
I took that as a challenge.
I began on a Thursday.
“Patience is a virtue,” I said.
“Huh?” my daughter said.
“Slow and steady wins the race,” I said.
“Stop saying weird things, Mom,” they said.
I worked for hours. Hours turned into days. Days turned into weeks.
“We’re hungry,” they said. “Are you ever going to cook again?”
“Give a man a fish, he can feed himself for a day. Teach a man to fish, he can feed himself for life,” I said.
“Why does she keep saying things weird stuff we don’t understand?” they said.
“It means…make your own dinner,” I said.
I soldiered on. Late nights. Early mornings.
“Nobody has clean socks,” they said.
I kept at it.
Finally, only five were left. Four. Three. Two.
No. No. No.
“It cost fifty cents,” they had said.
“It’s USED,” they had said.
“There’s NO way the pieces are all there,” my husband had said.
They were right.
My 9 year old.
She bought it for me at the school holiday shop.
With her own fifty cents.
She put it under the tree, all wrapped up.
She couldn’t wait to give it to me.
She was so proud of her gift.
I had to try.
And then. Under the table. I see it.
The last piece.
“I can’t believe you did it, mom.” she said. “That was like the hardest thing ever, but you never gave up.”