Saturday 25 October 2008

Zen and Sewing

The child had one pair of pants. One. From amongst a pile of too-short, too-tattered relics of the past year emerged the last remaining pair of jeans, still sturdy to the world. This is a challenge, right? I could pop over to Value Village and pick up a $5.99 pair of perfectly serviceable jeans for her, or I could go down to the basement and try out How to make easy kids' pants, which I'd been itching to do for, oh, over a year ;-) Besides, I had the perfect fabric in mind: a soft light blue baby corduroy that I'd been saving for something nice. There would be just enough for a pair of pants.

At the same time as I was getting all adventurous and taking apart an old, nice-fitting pair of Safiya's pants to trace a pattern from (never done that with pants before, so was kind of nervous, but it worked out well), I was also having an argument.

It doesn't matter with who, especially because the person wasn't there. I was not paying attention, just indulging, and what I wish I could say or should have said came pouring out in a fantasy (one-sided) conversation where everything got resolved, and where anger and hurt feelings had free reign. Oh, and of course, where I was right, and vindicated, and all that good stuff ;-)

Now, I hear you saying, how can you do that and sew at the same time?

And of course, the answer is that I can't. I cut the pants out completely backwards and the fabric was not salvageable. Which forced a big sigh, a kick in the brain-pants for me, and a refocus on the project at hand. Ugh. Those thoughts, those arguments, while they seem satisfying in the moment, are ultimately so deceptive and unproductive.

Hands with scissors, on the other hand (ha!), can be quite productive:

I'm discovering that it is very difficult to get a four-year-old to stay still! Especially when fitting things....oh, I take back all that wriggling I did to my Mom when she made me clothes years ago....arg!

The back-up pair did turn out just fine, and I highly recommend this method of making pants; once you get going, you could probably make a pair of pants start to finish in 30 minutes-ish.

I do not, however, recommend sewing angry...imagine what all our clothes would look like!

Tuesday 21 October 2008

Season of Change

It snowed today. After such a warm October, I find this reassuring. The leaves in the picture above now pad our walks, and the air has changed from that sun-warming-leaf-pile smell to that air with the edge to it, just a little too bracing for the unready under an overcast sky.

There have been other changes here, too. Other additions; and no, I have not been nourishing a secret pregnancy :-) A friend of Safiya's comes over after her school to hang out most days in the week, an arrangement with many benefits for all involved. I like a house with extra people, and my friend needed help, so things fell into place and now there's another personality thrown into the mix with some regularity around here, as well as some regular income on my part.

So now there are two cups of hot chocolate in the wagon in the afternoon. They are both only children, and it's been very interesting to watch them hash things out. At first there were territorial disputes to be presided over ;-)

However, I'm a "smoother-over-er" by instinct, which is not always a good thing; I get in the way. Frankly now it seems best if I step back and keep an eye just with my ears. The lovely thing is to hear them pretending and making up stories and talking about their respective imaginary friends, and giggling at eachother's silliness.

This wanting everything to be smooth for her is a desperate longing that I think all parents have, but in reality Safiya blossoms in her own decisions, her own fights, her own muddiness.

It's hard, but it's easier to remember when I think of how much fun mud is :-)

Monday 6 October 2008

All Dinosaurs, All the Time

When we started talking about Hallowe'en, Safiya very promptly informed me that she wanted to be a "T-Rex dressed as a fairy", which might be the best costume idea ever. And then she looked up at me with those earnest, elf-green eyes and said "You can sew that, right Mama?"

All I have to say is, thank goodness for thrift stores...