While the story of the original series can be read here, “Alphabet Soup” is still a work in progress as I search to complete the perfect series for both boys and girls. One such search was for another letter “V.”

Danny: “But I love the van.”
Me: “I know, sweetie, me too. But a little girl named Vanessa might not. Or her mommy, who is buying the print for her room, might not.
Danny: “Well, that’s just silly. Who doesn’t love vans?”

I happened to be in the basement later that afternoon, looking for something on an entirely different subject, when I rediscovered my great-grandmother’s sewing basket. I lifted the woven lid and saw this pincushion sitting quietly amidst the wooden darning egg (which I still don’t understand how to use), a myriad of beautiful buttons, and a jumble of colorful wooden spools. I hadn’t remembered this little stuffed heart, but as soon as I saw it, I knew I found my new “V.”

I took out all the pins with their colorful glass tops and brought it upstairs to my studio. Danny watched me quietly as I worked.
Danny: “I still like the van.”
Me: “I know, sweetie, and that’s the one that will stay in the book. But do you like this one as well?”

He walked over and picked it up, examining it in the light. I wondered when my great-grandmother made it, and imagined her smiling as she watched my child holding it in his hands.
“I do like it,” he finally decided, a sweet smile spreading across his face as he spoke.

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