I'm slowly - but surely - learning to save The Day Before a birthday as 'sibling-making' time. Because as much as I gently try to get them thinking and making earlier, time is just so different when you're very little. It isn't until the day is nearly upon us that the reality of it exists. And then, suddenly...reality and inspiration collide into RIGHT NOW. "I HAVE to make something! His birthday is TOMORROW!!!" I hear with such earnestness.
And there we are - on a day before a birthday - when Mama has making plans of her own, and cleaning plans, and party preparing plans and all that goes with a birthday. Greeted with a request to sew, or make or create, multiplied by a couple of them, each with plans of their own requiring various degrees of help....well, it's a rather grand allotment of time. I find myself almost saying - with the words on the tip of my tongue, but my lips closed tightly trying to keep them in, "we don't have time for that!"
Because goodness, it's the best kind of time there is, you know? Child-initiated making and giving for their family? Oh yes, we can make time for that. That's why I'm learning to save The Day Before.
And here, is a little bit of our most recent The Day Before.
Ezra received the new book Sewing School as a holiday gift. It's been living in his bed (a place of book honor) since then, with lots of 'plans' being made - including one to make his brother a nano-pouch. And that's just what we did on this Day Before. I was pleased with the book - the instructions are written in a way that a little guy his age could make sense of it and do much of it on his own (a lot of it is focused on hand-sewing). He stopped for help and direction a few times along the way. He needed a little guidance when he decided to steer from the "pattern" and make it his own a bit ("The book said I could do that!" he said, excited for the permission to do so).
I love watching the way each of them work in their very own way. The way their frustrations are worked out. The way they problem-solve and eventually find their groove. Totally their own style.
Ezra took his handwork to his room, where he could properly zone out with needle, thread and to "find the perfect album to sew to". (He declared that to be David Bowie's Young Americans.)
And then there is the giving. The moment in which all those brotherly brawls and sibling squabbles disappear for a little while and are replaced with nothing but love, generosity and gratitude for each other. Emotions that are as real and true as anything I know. And all through the giving of a simple and sweet little handmade pouch, or handdrawn book, or salt dough creation.
Oh yes, there's time for making that.