"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

16 May 2011

Creative failure and some advice from mom.

I admit, I can't sew.  This probably surprises no one. 
Neither can my mother.  Its probably some defective gene or something.
Actually, in my mother's defense, she made a really lovely quilt once, when I was a kid.  Nobody was ever allowed to touch it after that, probably for fear that it would disintegrate on contact.   She spent hours on that thing.  And it is a sign of how grandmothers see the world that we children weren't allowed to look at that quilt wrong, but as soon as my first child was born, the quilt came out of the box and was spread on the FLOOR unrequested, for little mister prone to sudden messes to roll about on.

So now that little mister is a teenager and his younger brother is almost nine (and one more but he won't be appearing in this tale of woe, except possibly cast as an extra in the scene).  The two big boys attend a study center two days a week, where we dutifully have their heads stuffed full of classical knowledge like algebra and logic and Shakespeare and science.  And it is the custom of the study center, on the next-to-last Wednesday of the school year, that the kids have dress-up day, where each child whose dutifully crafty mom is eagerly on the ball is allowed to appear in the costume of their favorite character from either history or literature, someone they've studied that year.

Isaac's first year in study center, I simply pretended not to notice dress-up day.  I stink at the whole competitive mothering thing.  Our first year in 4H, I referred to the other mothers with awe as "domestic goddesses" and mostly hid from them.  Ignoring dress-up day is nothing out of my ordinary.   Dress-up day?  No, never heard of it.

By the time he came home and told me all the other kids had dressed up, well, too late now.  *shrug*  Problem solved.

Until the next year... and I kind of "missed" the memo.   Not so neatly done this time though.  Maybe I should just let them play hooky on dress up day instead?  Again the complaint, again too late.

Year three passed much the same way, but year four involved my poor kid making his own costume out of scraps of paper when he arrived on site to realize that once again his mother had sabatoged the dress-up day memo. 

And so it goes.  Though we did manage a Helios god of the sun costume last year, complete with gold crown made by dad, who has some decent scissors and glue (and gold spray paint) skills when he wants to.  The rest was a bed-sheet.  So there.

But this year, now our sixth year of dress-up day shame, I have two kids in study center...  and alas, dress-up day is on the horizon.  And the darling sons of my youth have plans... plans, I tell you!  Evil plans.

Eldest boy has been reading Shakespeare.  MacBeth.  He wants to go as Malcolm.  This does not bother me, he has a kilt.  No crazy skills required.  But I can't exactly send the eldest dressed as king Malcolm (complete with Nerf sword) and then tell second boy, "you can go as a study center student." 

No, in fact, boy two has a plan.
He wants to be a civil war soldier. 

I'm doomed.  How on earth am I going to come up with that?

$13 in craft felt and yarn later, we've made him a Confederate jacket.  (If this were public school, no doubt we'd be thrown out as racists, but then the eldest would probably get suspended for getting in a fight over wearing a "skirt" as I'm sure most regular eighth grade boys would call a kilt.)    To an eight year old this is authentic Confederate perfection.  To me, its a perforated thumb and a crooked jacket that looks like its already seen a battle or several.  It may not survive a gust of wind.  

I called my mother.  Her "helpful" non-sewing responses:
1. "You should have told him to make it himself. "
-- Ah yes, I remember when she told me to make my costume myself... the year I wanted to be a camel for Halloween.  She bought the brown fabric, I made some sort of mangled mess.  No way a human body would fit in the camel suit, nor did it resemble a camel.  I think I went to the cosume party as a 1980's kid.
2.  "Everyone up there is a Yankee. They won't know the difference."
--Thanks mom.  Not helpful. I think yankees know what a jacket is supposed to look like, even if it happens to be grey.
3.  "Bandage him up a bit and say he's coming back from the battle." 
-- SCORE!  That's what mothers are for!

In the meantime, the boy is practicing his marching.  He wants to make a giant cannon now, to drag with him to study center.  Maybe that will be a job for scissors-dad.

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