Gentlemen

It wouldn’t be Christmas unless I sewed something for my boys. Right?

Not that I don’t already have a million things going on in my crazy life, but it wouldn’t feel like I gave it a solid holiday try if I didn’t make them something each December.

So on Monday I hauled my 3-year-old to the fabric store. To my surprise they had virtually no holiday-themed fabric — unless you were looking for Valentine’s pink or St. Patrick’s Day green.  Apparently we missed the holiday sale.

Eventually we found a few reams of Christmas-looking stuff and settled on a maroon velvet print. I also grabbed some satin gold and some gold buttons. I spent the morning cutting out and sewing my sons Christmas vests for church on Sunday.

When my 5-year-old got home from school he was so excited. He loved his vest and said that now he could be, “a real gentleman.”

Little did I know he wanted to transform himself into the epitome of gentleman. The next thing I knew I was in the kitchen working on dinner and getting ready to sew him a pair of black knickers to go with the outfit, when I heard the water going in the bathroom.

At our house, that is never a good sign.

I turned down the stove and poked my head in the bathroom only to find my hair styling gel bottle half empty and my boys’ hair shellacked to their heads. They had splashed water and gel everywhere in an effort to top off their “gentleman” persona.

At first I was really mad. I grabbed a brush and started combing my oldest son’s hair. Bubbles foamed as I ran it across the top of his scalp.

There was no way I was going to be able to comb through this one.

I have never used a blow dryer on either of my sons’ heads. They have always been nervous about its sound and the warm air. But I had no other choice. I didn’t have time to toss them in the tub so I whipped out the blow dryer and blew away the foam.

That seemed to calm me down and then it hit me. They hadn’t ruined their new vests and they hadn’t ruined anything in the bathroom. That’s when I started to feel guilty.

I felt like an evil stepmother who tells her child that they look hideous after they just finished “perfecting” themselves for a special event. I don’t ever want to be the kind of parent who puts them down when they are trying their best.

So I tried to explain to them that if they really wanted their hair to look extra special, I would be happy to teach them how to comb and style it — but we could use a heck of a lot less gel.

Sometimes I get too worked up over the little things. I need to realize that if I haven’t sewn my sons anything for Christmas and the holiday is less than a week away, it’s OK. Granted they loved the vests and I love making things, but sometimes it’s too much.

I also need to realize that losing a little gel to a child who wants to look like a “gentleman” isn’t a bad thing. There are worse things my sons could want to look like.

Next year I might not sew anything for Christmas. And I might buy them some styling gel to wrap for under the tree.

Merry Christmas!

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