Proud Moment - Teaching My Lily to Sew

 
See that smile on that tired little face? That is the look of pure accomplishment!  The other night it was 97 degrees outside, and Lily came out of her room wearing polar fleece PJs.  "Go put something cooler on," I begged, "it makes me feel hotter just looking at you!"  Lily teared up a little and said, "these are the only jammies I have."  Bad mommy.

How do we solve this? Sew some pajamas, of course!  I told Lily that she could go through my fabric and we'd pick a pattern, and I'd even use this chance to let her sew them herself and teach her.

She did not believe that we could get it done by bedtime, but I had an ace up my sleeve.  I knew that I'd bought some pre-smocked fabric that she'd love on clearance ages ago and it had just been sitting there in my "To Sew" pile ever since.  Lucky for me, she did love it, and so it was a simple, simple matter of cutting her width around, sewing a seam up the back, making and adding shoulder ruffles (go scrap-box again - pre-elasticized trim meant super-easy!).

As a nightgown, it was pretty short, so we decided to make some shorts out of the same fabric we'd scrounged for the shoulder ruffles.  Nothing teaches basic sewing like the elastic-waist jammie pant!  Lily was over the moon!

It was a great, proud moment to start what I hope will be a passing down of a sewing tradition.  We had fun, and even though it took about three hours where it would have taken me maybe half an hour, it was worth it.

Just as I was basking in the glow of a mommy moment well-taken though, Lily's enthusiasm bubbled over - "and when I'm done with these we can make some just like it for Chloe, and then for Evey, and maybe I can take over and make the Christmas jammies this year, and...and...and."  And from the other side of the house, Chloe (only 6 years old) chimes in, "OH NO, you're NOT making mine! As soon as you're done, mommy is going to help me make MY OWN!"

All I could think was, "if you give a mouse a cookie..."

What I said was, "let's live in this moment right now and enjoy what we're doing now, ok?"

Because, truth be told, moments like that don't happen often enough.  Even if I try to plan them.  It was a lovely evening when all the planets aligned for a beautiful shared night of sewing.  Next time, I might be busy, or they might be cranky, or any number of things might not work out - because that is the daily experience.  Other moms, I'm convinced, always do perfect mom-things with their kids, but I can't seem to settle to what that means.  I sew for them, and the whole time think I should be crafting with them.  I do the laundry and think I should be reading stories, I read stories and think I should be doing laundry. Constantly at odds, constantly conflicted.  But now and then a magical moment does happen - even to those of us who feel like we never can do enough and are always a day late and a dollar short in the mom game.

Every time Lily wears her jammies she made herself I'll remember magic is possible, and I'll try harder to make sure I reach out and grab it when it comes.



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