The parenting moment that almost wasn't

Oh, last week started with parental discouragement. Remember that last Monday, I was considering pulling my daughter out of Spanish.

Of course, in a predictable twist on parenting, that very night my child did a 180* turn and started actually participating in school. And, all week long, she kept it up. She studied and she worked and we made the lessons fun as we could, using real life examples and speaking more and more spanish. And, the whole time, she glowed with accomplishment and participation. And, I thanked her for making it easy to work with her. And, she glowed because it was nice to know I wasn't taking it for granted.

A reward was in order.

Simultaneously, I was having my own issues with hate speech and I was deeply drawn into things that don't concern me and I was distracted from what is really important. But, I managed to keep those thoughts in the background when I was working with Sydney. We studied and we laughed and we were parent and child and I handled math and spanish and Rob worked on science and we had a great family week. It could only have been topped by a win on Thursday night that just didn't happen, despite a good game from our girls.

And, this weekend, we began a new reward for her good behavior and hard efforts.

We bought the incentive...ugh, the pattern...last weekend. Just something to look at to remind her of the benefits of having a happy parent.

Okay, so neither Sydney nor I had any idea of how complicated this was going to get. The more we worked on it, the more great ideas I came up with to make it fabulous. The more fabulous ideas I came up with, the longer it took. The longer it took, the more Sydney wanted to rush. The more complex it got, the more it got beyond Sydney's skills. The more it exceeded Sydney's skills, the more of it I took over. The more I took over, the more fabulous the ideas got. And, so the weekend went.

Saturday, Sydney and I sat across from one another at sewing machines; she working on her cloak and me quilting the September Linus quilt. By Sunday, she was sitting next to my chair and I was sitting at the sewing machine, working on the cape and the September Linus quilt languished some more. Now, it's hard to take something over from a child and leave them feeling important. But, I managed to follow my feelings and take time to think about what I wanted to say and I just was up front and honest and admitted that what we are trying to do is hard and she just doesn't have the skills for it yet and I'd rather her get those skills on easier things so she won't get discouraged. And, she went for it. Or, she's laughing up her sleeve at getting me to do the hard work. Who knows.

Anyway, this is what we got done. Still need to hem the sleeves and add the hood. All polyester. The lining is a silky sheet that we found in goodwill for 1.99. The yoke, sleeves and hood are purple velvet that looks more like suede cloth and the bottom is some horribly stretchy woolly looking fabric; both from the mark down wall at JoAnn's, which was on half off sale. All perfectly period matched in appearance, if there was a natural fiber in any of them.

But, it's the ribbon. The Ribbon is my victory dance. The ribbon is strips of the silky lining fabric, the fancy stitches from my machine that I've never used before, a spool of embroidery thread and hours and hours and hours of boring fun, sitting there making sure the machine stayed on the lines. I made 400 inches of it because it goes everywhere. I made ribbon. Sydney made ribbon. Ribbon was made. 4 hours of making ribbon.

Now I want one. It's really cool. It is probably the most impractical garment I will ever make, but it's really, really cool.

Anyway, the participation is so worth rewarding that I don't care how bad my shoulders were aching from heaving this heavy thing around yesterday, trying to put it together. Trying to sew the lining into it. Making sure all the seam allowances are finished.
Learning to use the conjugates of the spanish verb tener? Priceless.

Tener means "to have". To have patience. To have love. To have character. To have indifference. To have laughter.

Tengo abundancia.

Have a great Monday. Lane


Sequana said...

Well, that is just beautiful.

As is the cape. :)

Laura said...

It's gorgeous, Lane. And you do realize that it could be the beginning of a fantastic Halloween costume, don't you? ;) I even have a pattern for a dress that would be wonderful with it....

Coloradolady said...

Lane, what a lot of work! That ribbon is amazing..simply amazing.

Barbara Ann Beamer Jones said...

What a terrific post ~ and how rewarding it is to spend time with one's children on such a project!

Thanks for sharing!

Becky said...

Glory Be! What a cloak!!! Beautiful, and of course in my (and Sydney's) favorite color!!!

Elizabeth said...

I love costuming! Love it! You've done a beautiful job! That ribbon is gorgeous!

xo -E

Patricia said...

Mucho tengo abundancia.

Auntie Em said...

Wow! Wonderful teamwork! Thanks for such a positive post to start off my week.

Tanit-Isis said...

That is awesome, both the garment and the story that brought it about. I've been mulling over sewing as a reward for my youngest (in gr. 3), as we're probably going to be setting up a sticker system with her teacher to help her keep on task. I think I like it better than a weekly candy or movie, anyway.

I find balancing kid-projects between their ambitions and their skills a bit tricky (but then, my kids are younger, as well).

Tammy said...

Wow...that cloak is beautiful. A true labour of love between parent and child. I'm sure Sydney will cherish not only the cloak but also the dad time while sewing together. A truly wonderful post and a great Monday pick me up story.

Tammy said...

I forgot to ask which machine did you make the ribbon on?

Pauline said...

Gorgeous! A garment worthy of Edith Head! But what is it for? A bathrobe, lounging robe, hope chest, party, halloween? Or all of these! Speaking of developing skills, I'm still waiting for some so I can do FMQ. I'd also like to know what machine was used to make the ribbon. It's stunning.