When the day came to stay home and watch children I hadn’t known the importance of small breaks in the day, moments when you have time just to yourself or pointless conversations in hallways. Those breaks kept me grounded without me knowing; then suddenly I was left without them. I needed to take back time for myself, while still remaining in the same room of course. I started sewing as an outlet. It was simple enough and I already had a machine, easy choice. (My first choice would have been writing, however the atmosphere needed for authors doesn’t match well with screaming, hungry kids.)
Pretty quickly I found myself sewing a lot. The Russian Olympics were on and it seemed so cozy in the evenings with the cold tapping outside the window while watching the athletes. I would sprawl out on the floor cutting soft fabrics with extra sharp scissors. It was so easy to keep going, making more itty bitty clothes.
A year later as I fold a basket of laundry I see that the kids’ wardrobe is nearly all items made by me. I remember the decisions that turned fabric into clothes, the troubles with each piece, and now I feel forced to live with frayed edges in the collars that I would never have noticed if I weren’t the one who had sewn them together. I always love seeing the clothes worn for the first time, especially as the kids shift into focused little people trying to figure out the world and honestly trying to destroy the things I make; stained, muddy and covered in sand. It’s a challenge I keep in mind while sewing — double stitch… everything. I also love to see my son with his sleeping head on a pillow wearing train pajamas because it helps me to remember that he is still my little boy and not yet grown out of my reach.
I fold piles of laundry; his and hers; little pants and pants only slightly bigger. Almost everything has my hand in it, just like their lives; and for now this is normal. Does knowing it won’t last make it sweeter?There will be a time when life pulls me in another direction and slowly as the kids grow to bigger sizes there will be less of ‘hand made by Mom’. That will be OK because it is not really about the clothes at all, but the love behind it.