Some­times in life you have to go against the grain and do what’s right instead of buy­ing into the roles that oth­ers set out for you.  I want my chil­dren to grow up self-sufficient and well-rounded peo­ple — regard­less of their anatomy. Too often peo­ple allow dogma to dic­tate how they shape them selves and their fam­i­lies.  For me, I try to con­sider what’s best for the indi­vid­ual and go from there. This way of think­ing has lead to cer­tain “require­ments” I place on my kids as I pre­pare them for adult­hood and life in gen­eral.  You know, things like: each kid must know how to cook any­thing they like to eat — from scratch, they must take piano lessons for at least one year and then they may choose an instru­ment of their lik­ing… and the list goes on and on…

Sewing was one of the essen­tial skill I felt they would need.  Whether they would cre­ate their own clothes or just sew a but­ton on a shirt, one day this knowl­edge be use­ful.   Around the age of 4 we made stuffed toys by hand.  I think because I started things like this at an early age they are con­fi­dent and fear­less in so many ways.  Some­times I have to remind myself to be more like them! ;-)

While mak­ing a list of all the things my old­est son would need once he moved off to the col­lege dorm, I real­ized that he didn’t have a sewing kit.  I couldn’t believe this over­sight. Every­one else had their own.

I was a bit appre­hen­sive of how oth­ers may make him feel about hav­ing one. So, my daugh­ter and I set out to make a “manly” sewing kit that he would want to show off.  We were pleased to find that he dis­played it proudly on his dresser at college.my version of a male sewing kit

So far, all four of my kids have shown no fear of whip­ping up a gar­ment or toy by hand or on my sewing machine.  My old­est has even found a way to make mes­sen­ger bags using an iron and recy­cling plas­tic bags.recycledgrocerybags

Some­times other par­ents tell me they wish they would have taught their sons to sew,  cook, etc… despite the oppo­si­tion they would have got­ten from their fam­ily and friends due to stereotypes.

To this I say, “Some­times you have to do what make sense to you and maybe oth­ers will be brave enough to follow.”

 

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Steve Jobs: How to live before you die | Video on TED.com

 

May his spirit live on in all of us!

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Adventures in Art

16 Apr 2011

There are many things in life one won’t know about them­selves until they try some­thing new.

For instance, I did not know that I was capa­ble of draw­ing realistic-looking objects and peo­ple until later in life.

drawings of Carlitos and Alyson

Grow­ing up dirt poor and all that it brings with it can be pretty harsh.  So many of my child­hood mem­o­ries are of learn­ing com­monly known things the hard way.   Keep read­ing…

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