>The Button Trust


Grandma Seiler’s Button Box. July, 2011.
Rhinestones, Plastic Monkeys, and A Good Marriage
As we prepare to embark on a summer vacation in the desert, I decide to replace buttons that have long since gone missing from two pairs of my husband Rich’s shorts.

I ask him what kind of buttons he prefers.

He tells me as long as they’re the right size, he trusts me to choose.

Obviously he doesn’t know about the treasures of Grandma’s button box. 

This metal tin belonged to my paternal grandmother, Alice Marie Seiler, and it holds buttons made from pink, orange, and blue plastic, wood, bone, metal, and shell, along with a stray monkey from a Barrel of Monkeys game.

I’ve raided it for important family events. When my niece, Allison Marie Seiler, was baptized, my brother and his wife granted me the honor of sewing her dress. I chose a mother-of-pearl button, carved into a rose, to adorn the crown of the bonnet.

And I raid it for routine mending, like the long-overdue button replacement I’m about to undertake.

I open the tin and my fingers wander through the basket. I pick up a rhinestone-studded beauty and remember my husband’s words: “As long as it’s the right size, I don’t care what it looks like.”

I think he would care if I sewed a rhinestone button onto his khaki cargo shorts.

Suddenly memories ensnare my fingers as they fondle these old buttons. I’m 16. We’re celebrating my grandparents’ golden wedding anniversary. Grandma is in brocade and a perfect-lipstick smile and Grandpa wears a tie. The hall is filled with friends, the scent of lavender, and the rustle of ladies’ dresses. I watch my grandparents kiss and I see the trust between them.

I put down the rhinestone button and set aside my idea to play a prank by sewing it onto Rich’s shorts.

My husband trusts me. That’s nothing to toy with.

3 The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
I Corinthians 7:3 (NASB)