Saturday, February 26, 2011

Snow, Spiderman, Sewing, and the Significance of Being Four

First of all, a big shout out and THANK YOU to the universe for that much needed snow day on Thursday! I have almost forgiven you for inflicting the stomach flu on us and ruining Jack's birthday. Almost. The best part about this snow day was that there actually was some real snow! Our day even looked like this for awhile:

But then it all melted and I ended up going for a run in the sunshine that afternoon. Ah yes, a happy snow day it was. I felt rejuvenated and invigorated after a surprise day off. Sometimes you just need a little sumsum to break your routine and shake things up a bit. Plus, that afternoon I finally had some time to reorganize my sewing space and tuck away a mountain of fabric scraps that had been generously bestowed upon me many weeks ago and had since been gathering dust in the garage.

And in sewing news, I just finished up two Eddie Caps and two pairs of deep pocket pants inspired by this tutorial as birthday gifts for the boys. Jack was willing to pose in his pants and cap, Sawyer was not. I guess maybe he is just too cool for this matchy matchy business. Not me. I am so not too cool for dressing my kids in matching homemade clothes.

I've been hearing a lot lately from people who say they want to learn how to sew. Do it! Chances are you can track down somebody's sewing machine to take out for a spin. Start with something simple, like pajama pants, and you'll see how easy and fulfilling sewing can be. I only know the basics, but I'm willing to try anything (and I have a trusty seam ripper that sees a lot of thread). I have to break my sewing up into mini sessions- thread the machine here, cut fabric there, sew a seam or two, iron a hem, etc. I never sit at the machine and expect to finish something- that's just not how my life works. I usually have a few projects going at a time so that I can squeeze a few steps in here and there whenever I have a few minutes. I binge sew from time to time, especially around Christmas, but most of the time I try to start projects way in advance so that I don't have a looming deadline to stress me out. Sewing should be fun.

Sawyer has been long mesmerized by the phenomenon of Jack sewing. I guess he's heard so many (many, many) times NOT to touch the sewing machine that watching Jack eat the forbidden fruit is fascinating. I finally broke down and busted out the antique Singer and let him go to town. And by going to town I mean that he methodically pulled the thread from the machine and turned all the knobs. And that was that.

Since we had to delay Jack's birthday party by a week, that meant we had extra time to prepare for the festivities. I put Brent in charge of the pinata- and wow! I have always maintained that Brent is a man of mysterious talent. Let's all add professional Spiderman pinata maker to his lengthy list of qualifications.

About the party. We went with the simplified approach. Jack got to invite four friends and I cooked up a big old bunch of pizzas and served the carrot cake. Also, there was plenty of beer. A necessary ingredient for any kid's birthday party, in my book. Even though we kept it relatively low key, I did have a few moments of preparatory stress and a few why-the-hell-am-I-doing-this-again moments when I was up to my elbows in pizza dough and Sawyer let loose with the Foulest Diaper of All Time, that would have surely forced the evacuation of all party guests from our house had it come ten minutes later. Also, we were all tired since Jack woke everyone up at 6:20 that morning to confirm that today was, in fact, The Big Day. (In addition, I had stayed up waaaay too late binge sewing pirate shorts- Shorts? I know. I am usually a season ahead when it comes to the boys' clothes- spring here we come, I guess!) And on top of that, we'd cleaned our house twice at this point in preparation for having it be demolished by a pack of four-year-olds. I do like to maintain the illusion of being neat and tidy. Many of you are totally fooled.

But once Jack's little friends began to arrive and I saw him light up as the common denominator among these small people, I realized that it was all totally worth it. Jack felt special- I could see it in his shining eyes and by the glow of his rosy cheeks. He LOVED having his closest friends surrounding him and they shrieked and ran and jumped and played dress up and ransacked the playroom, pulling every single toy from the shelves and leaving a wake of destruction in their path. At one point they all raced out to the backyard to scream at the tops of their lungs. It was one hell of a party.

As I watched Jack cavorting with his pals, totally in his own element and oblivious to my observation, I saw him for the first time the way another kid might. Jack is funny. He's silly, charismatic, imaginative and enthusiastic. He is happy. He is a good friend.

I know that he will always remember his fourth birthday- the party, the friendships, the pinata- those snapshot moments are what will replay in his mind as memories throughout his lifetime. I hope he will remember the details: how he and Brent worked tirelessly to get the Spiderman pinata "just right", how his friends greeted him with hugs, kisses, and even some I love yous, how he went to bed that night clutching his new Lego fire truck, and how on this day- the belated day of birthday celebration- he knew just how loved he truly is.

I won't hesitate to remind him.

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