Andrea peeked into her parents’ room. She smiled when she saw the blue beanbag gecko on Mom’s pillow. Andrea came in to look at it closer.
Mom brought it home from Hawaii to remind her of the lizards she and Dad saw on vacation. Sometimes she let Andrea and her younger sister, Stacy, play with it. Andrea liked how its bright beaded eyes shone in the light and how its shiny blue skin slipped through her hands.
But now something was wrong. Andrea could see a small rip in the gecko’s side. Little pebbles of filling were falling out onto the pillowcase.
Oh no! Mom would be so sad when she saw what happened. What could Andrea do?
Andrea spotted Mom’s sewing basket under the table in the corner. That’s it! she thought. Mom had been teaching her to sew. Could she stitch up the gecko all by herself? She searched through Mom’s sewing basket for a needle and some blue thread. Then she gently scooped up the torn gecko and cradled it so no more tiny pebbles would fall out. After a few tries, she threaded the needle and carefully started stitching the opening back together.
Andrea’s fingers fumbled with the tiny needle and the thread. It seemed to tangle with every stitch! Finally she made the last stitch and tied a knot. Andrea frowned. Her big, messy stitches made it easy to tell where the tear had been. But at least no more pebbles were falling out.
Andrea found Mom weeding in the garden. She held the gecko out to her.
“I found this on your bed with a hole in it. I tried to fix it,” she said. “It isn’t very good,” she added softly.
“Oh?” Mom put her shovel on the ground and wiped her hands on the bandana in her pocket. Then she gently took the stuffed gecko from Andrea’s hands. She examined the stitching, looking from the gecko to Andrea and back to the gecko again.
“You did this all by yourself?” Mom sounded surprised.
“Yes.” Andrea traced a circle in the grass with her big toe. “I know you like to look at it to remember your vacation.”
Mom grinned. “Well, now I can look at it and remember two things: our fun vacation and what a thoughtful daughter I have.”
Andrea looked up at Mom. “It doesn’t look the same,” she said.
“No, it doesn’t,” Mom said. Andrea’s shoulders slumped. I knew it, she thought. But then Mom folded her into a great big hug. “It’s better!”
Andrea’s eyes widened. “Really?”
“Really,” Mom said. “Thanks for rescuing my gecko!” She squeezed Andrea tight. Andrea grinned as she hugged Mom back.
“Can I help weed the garden?” Andrea asked.
“You bet!” said Mom. “But I have to put the gecko back first.”
“I’ll do it!”
Andrea carefully carried the gecko inside and set it on Mom’s pillow. She patted its shiny head. “Glad I could help you out,” she said. Then she ran outside to help Mom rescue the garden too!