Reflecting on Scissors – My Mom’s Number One Tool

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Everyone says their Mom is the best. I tend to believe it. Every Mom is different in their own way and therefore loved as the best. It’s hard to refute these claims.

I have known many Moms.

I have been lucky and fortunate in my 37 years to call many women “mom.” This is not out of disrespect toward my mom, but instead out of respect for the women who have welcomed me in their homes, fed me, allowed me to rest, and nourished my soul at times when I was separate from my mom. I have friends who call my Mom their mom, too. It’s a loving endearment, and one that I am glad to be part of – this circle of women.

I am not a mom. I am an awesome aunt, if I do say so myself. But I’ve been a babysitter and caretaker of many children since the ripe age of 14. I have watched those moms care for their children and have helped care for them too. I don’t think I would be so good with children if I had never experienced the love of women who have cared for me as family and as friends.

Every Mother’s Day, I honor all of us who help nurture children – teachers, doctors, babysitters, and yes, Moms. The women who carry us and raise us and allow us to go out into this world as strong and courageous individuals. At least that’s how my mom raised me.

Which leads me to scissors. As a culture, we discuss scissors as something we use to cut things out – to remove people from our lives, as one popular meme that gets shared on Instagram regularly declares – but scissors in my family are not meant to cut things out as a final act. Scissors are a step in the process of creating – of bringing something new into life.

In my mom’s hands, scissors cut out patterns and fabrics that became dresses and outfits I wore throughout my youth and young adult years. My mom still makes me clothing by the way, most recently an outfit I wore to a good friend’s wedding on New Years Eve 2017. Scissors have always been a tool my mom used to wield her creative genius – her fashion passion – her ability to take a textile and bring to life clothing someone would want to wear, and in many cases be asked where you bought the outfit.

In my youth, I had no regard for my mother’s scissors. I didn’t understand why she had so many pairs and inevitably took every single pair and cut paper with them. I would hear my mom scream from the basement of kitchen, “who touched my scissors?!” Of course she knew it was me; I was the only one in the house competing for creative action – she sewed and I played with paper, or cooked things like pizza from scratch, or attempted to sew and failed miserably. Yet, I didn’t stop. I would see a pair of scissors new to my eyes and grab them and work them until dull and no longer usable to my mom.

It is now, as a 37-year-old, that I understand my mother’s absolute need for scissors that are not dull and work for her art. As a stationery maker and paper artist, I have many pairs of scissors, but only one of them I use to cut out lushly textured handmade papers from around the world. That pair has a ribbon tied to it for easy finding, but also with ladybugs, a symbol of my deceased paternal grandmother.

Wielding my scissors, I’m out to create as well – to make something beautiful from what was cut – to become part of a new memory; a new piece to delight and share. I learned this from my mom and it may be one of the best lessons she’s taught me – do not just cut, cut and create.

Every time I pick up my scissors, I think about my mom. I chuckle because I remember the battle of scissors and how difficult it must have been to have had me as a child at times.

I love my mom so much. I think of her as the best. (If you ate her food, you might too!) She’s incredibly warm and kind. She’s really the best thing from Honduras. And she’s my mom, but I share her with my two brothers and all the people who meet her and love her. I’m thankful every day that she has been part of my journey for 37 years and that she taught me so much about the creative process, as well as the importance of a good pair of sharp scissors.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

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s2 stationery & designs

A rule-breaking designer, artist & entrepreneur who's passionate about paper and handcrafting stationery. I also write, travel, and focus on eco + social good.

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