My Dad's Yellow Sewing Box

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
The yellow sewing box
The yellow sewing box

For the past nine years, a yellow sewing box has sat in the hall closet right next to my parent’s room, one room away from my room, on the second floor. It has been there through Halloween costumes, Catholic school skirt hems, prom dress malfunctions, and worn-out stuffed animals. It’s a manila folder color that does not seem to fade with age. That ageless yellow sewing box is a staple in our family. However, for the longest time, I did not know its origin. Now, nine years after its existence in the second house I’ve lived in and nineteen years after its existence in my life, I have come to know the story of the yellow sewing box and what events occurred that led to my existence.I have always known that my dad was adopted. He grew up in Watchung, New Jersey and then left for undergrad and then later law school when he traveled across the country to California. In July 1981, my dad left New Jersey/New York, with a law degree in his future and that yellow sewing box in his car. The sewing box now comes back into this story. It was my dad’s grandmother’s sewing box and then his mother’s sewing box. They both passed it down to him.  Since then, we still have our little yellow sewing box that now my mother uses. Now, I have taken our lineage back to its original origin: New York. Coming back to the place of my dad’s childhood feels like we have come full circle. 

Place(s): California, New Jersey, New York
Year: 1981

– Caitlin Bury

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant