In my post about milking with Calvin last week, Nichole so beautifully wrote in the comments, "I often wonder how life is juggled with such a varying age group of siblings. Sometimes it seems easier, I imagine, to blog about the little ones. Their life, their development is such a force of outward growth, while and older child grows both outward but more importantly inward into their own being."
Those lovely words have stayed with me this week, as I find them to be so very true. While it is all so easy for me to write about the changes and growth of infant, toddler hood and young children - the changes and growth of older children and (dare I say) pre-teenagers are more complex, personal, and most certainly inward. While the relationships consume (perhaps) more of my energy and time than that of a baby, I find that writing about it and sharing it all in this space is more challenging. But, assuredly, as completely as every age has shown me thus far, these years are bringing with them a beautiful mix - of the challenges and the joys that roll together as one on this journey of parenthood. I am - every single day - both completely loving and adoring (more than I ever imagined) and being so wildly challenged and taught (in ways I never imagined) by my growing oldest child(ren).
Which may be the longest prelude ever to tell you that Calvin and I made some pants. But - as you likely know - it's always about more than 'just making' something.
This not-so-little boy of mine has had a great interest of late in 'fashion.' As his Mama, I find this quite fascinating...given that he never spent a day in 'regular' clothes until he was 7. It was dress up clothes all day, everyday (do some of you remember that fun? Goodness, that was fun. The Wizard of Oz era might have been my favorite.) But now we find ourselves on the edge of pre-teen years, and a whole different kind of interest in fashion has emerged. The thrift shopping that I do has made the boys wardrobe fairly standard fare, with the Mama-made's mixed in. It's been fine, durable, and easy...until now. Because Calvin has quite loudly declared that all of his clothes are boring.
I listened to him talk about this for a few days (weeks?) - just listening, and waiting to see what he came up with for a solution. We talked, as we often do, about why we buy clothes the way we do, about the clothing industry as a whole and some of it's impact on the earth and it's people, and some of our options for buying eco-and people friendly clothing. He considered spending some of his own money, and ultimately decided that everything he saw (in the price he was willing to spend) was also "boring, expensive, and made by I don't know who!" (his words). We looked at the Fashion & Style section of the New York Times, and he fantasized about something by Dolce & Gabbana for a while. And then, finally, after all that talk and deliberation, he landed right where I thought he would. Marching downstairs from his bedroom one morning, straight to the fabric shelves, declaring, "I'm just going to make something myself!"
Which is just what he did. With a little help from Mama, he made himself a pattern by tracing two different pairs of shorts (getting a cut from each). We made them reversible (using the same technique I had just done following Anna Maria's quick change trousers instructions) with a blend of vintage and modern prints he chose from the shelves.
And he loves them - wears them on both sides, with all sorts of cuff options, and oh-so-many options for accessorizing. Skateboarding, biking, running - they've held up quite well (after one minor repair. I forgot to mention reinforcing the seams which is important for said skateboarder). And much to his delight, he receives compliments on them wherever he goes.
He's since decided that in addition to being a baseball player, farmer, hairstylist, and professional ballet dancer, he would like to be a fashion designer.
I told him maybe he should make a second pair first.