Last week, I ran into Thirdsie Grant and his mama at a Yard Sale. TG had a pair of cowboy boots that came up to his knees and he was eager for me to know that he had these boots as if they weren't obvious on his small frame. Watching him proudly parade in them zoomed me back to a very clear memory of Eldest Son and fortunate for me, I have a photo to document the very day.
All four of my children were deadly serious about Dress Up/Pretend Play. People used to worry that my children would be stunted creatively because they didn't attend Traditional School. I would gladly tell them that if my children were any more creative, I wouldn't recognize them. ES particularly took his pretend play seriously. When he was dressed as Batman, Superman, Clark Kent, Michael Knight, Joker, Riddler, HeMan, Prince Adam, GI Joe and even a Civil War soldier as pictured here, he WAS that person. We had to address him by that name and you could see him get into character as he donned the costume. He was particular about how close to the 'real thing' that he could come. Fortunately, I could sew and appease his very specific demands. Capes, shirts, emblems all became my purpose in life according to ES. Sort of a costuming agent. We had neighbors that used to eat their lunch in their living room so that they could watch the assorted characters that ran in and out of our home. A Dinner Show of sorts.
Eldest/Admin was more into pretty. I would design Halloween Costumes according to her dream. Loving You Barbie, assorted brides, princesses and even Cleopatra one year. The photo above came about from a generous gift from a sewist friend that had a bolt of the most beautiful rose colored moire taffeta that she didn't need for her business and immediately thought of my Pretty Dress Consumed Daughter. Over six yards of free fabric went into her Civil War gown. I can still picture her elegantly parading through the Civil War Reenactment grounds, acknowledging the compliments and voting tickets for her costume. We had not even entered the contest but it was clear that in her category, she could have won, according to the number of votes that we had to refuse! It was a lovely day and a lovely memory of history coming alive as our children were in their element.
Back to the Cowboy Boots.....
ES was VERY eager to don his costume and get to the Reenactment for his pretend to become reality for an afternoon. So very eager that he cut some corners by forgetting his socks. It didn't take too long to watch our confident soldier begin to limp around the grounds with something akin to frostbite. I sat him down and as I pulled off his boots, I could see a series of blisters roaring on his little feet. After the usual motherly chastisement, we set out to find a remedy. The Village of East Davenport that was near to Lindsay Park where the reenactment took place, at that time hosted mostly specialty shops without a child clothing store amongst them. No sockies to be found, we approached the subject of going barefoot for the finish of the afternoon, which we knew would be vehemently voted down by our very determined Civil War Soldier. Were we suggesting that he would have to go out of character and look less than 'official'? Fortunately, we did not have too much left to see when the blisters came close to ruining his day. As a good soldier would have it, he resolutely walked carefully for the duration of our visit, even posing for this photo in pain.
And all these years later, all it took was a little friend clomping in his first cowboy boots, to bring me to that tiny memory in the vast years quadrupled by all the stories of all four of my children.
Here's hoping that all your days of memorable events with your children, stay with you always....