Side By Side

I’ll line this up and then we can sew. 

Are you ready to use the serger? 

Val! Can you come look at this? What did we do wrong? It doesn’t look quite right.

The ladies arrived ready to continue working today. Within five minutes of opening the door, the room had quickly turned into what we’ll call a “cheerful chaos.” Each refugee student was at a different stage of her project. While some started new pillowcases, others worked to remember where they had left off last class. As an experienced seamstress might know, this meant that a few steps were too hastily done and had to be corrected. Several ladies learned the important lesson of taking out stitches and double-checking work. 

It was neat to watch and to compare the environment to that of last week. Instead of a quiet classroom of ladies hesitantly following directions, there was a newfound confidence in each woman’s face that she could do this. Even the missteps brought new knowledge and experience. And the best part was being side by side with a more experienced seamstress and friend. 

My favorite part of the day was watching our two youngest seamstresses working together. One is the daughter of a refugee student, the other the daughter of a volunteer. Despite having met only two days earlier, they were enthusiastically working together with a will for success. The volunteer’s daughter had sewing experience, which she used to help her friend finish her very own first pillowcase today! 

It just reminded me again that whether we’re mastering a new skill, learning from our mistakes, or finishing a project, life is always easier when we work side by side, doing it together.