Big title, I know. Insert my Feminist ideals about raising contentious and well-rounded boys here. In all honesty, this is really a post about connecting with your children and giving them tools to help themselves be creative and resourceful.
Today I taught Milo the basics of sewing on a machine. He asked me a few days ago if I would teach him how and I hesitant to let a five year old use a sewing machine but then I remembered that this is the same kid who has two knives and can handle an ax and saw better than most adults. I also remember the hours I spent as a child hunched over my mom’s machine making my own clothes from scratch, totally in the zone, pinning, cutting, tearing out and problem solving until the design was just right.
My good friend is pregnant with her third child and recently found out that she is having a girl after birthing two boys. I have to admit that my mommy heart pinged with jealousy and the thought of having a girl to share all of my crafty, home cooking goodness with. Then I stopped myself. I can share so much of who I am and what I know as well as what my momma, aunties, and Grammy taught me with my boys regardless of their gender. Boys are capable of finding interest and satisfaction in all of the traditional female occupations. My boys already care for their baby dolls and help fold laundry. My boys show gratitude by making things and caring for others. Why not learn how to sew?
Our first sewing project was this pretty sweet pair of knit play pants. We just traced a pattern from his favorite jammies and thirty minutes later, ta-da, pants. He was so proud to make something useful out of a discarded piece of fabric. My little one was patient and cautious. We just had one of those afternoons that as a mom, I hope they don’t forget. Big hands guiding little hands. Parenting nirvana when it goes well.