First of all, today is Ben's birthday, and he is nine years old. Wow! He got out of his bed early this morning to a birthday phone call from Great-Grandpa. And then he ate scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast and carried his bucket of monster cookies to school to treat his class. Later today, we will go shopping for gerbils because he did the research and his daddy and I agreed (in fact, in January, when he did the research, we told him he could buy himself a gerbil or he could wait until his birthday and we would buy them for him as his present; he chose delayed gratification and I'm so pleased!).
I sewed these green pants for Ben when he loved dressing up
; he wore bow ties
, appreciated nice caps
, and begged for suits
. I can't even remember what year I sewed these, because as far as I was concerned, they didn't exist because he didn't wear them. He didn't like their fit, even though they are his favorite color.
I was pretty sick about the situation because the cotton yarn-dyed plaid is just gorgeous - heavy and smooth and sturdy, and if you have ever installed a fly in pants, you will know that it is complicated and fiddly (and actually, in true boy fashion, he doesn't have the fly zipped entirely in these photos so it looks crooked; it's perfect, I assure you). I don't invest the time in sewing something unless I'm pretty sure it's going to be used, but there was a lot of my time in those pants and they were hanging, forgotten, in a closet.
Until one day, I happened upon Genevieve and Ben laughing their heads off and dancing in full make-up and crazy dress-up regalia. And Ben was wearing the green pants.
I pounced: "Buddy, they look great! If I get you a white shirt, will you wear the pants?" He agreed, but on Easter morning, he waffled and looked wary, so I quietly bribed him with a chocolate peanut butter egg before breakfast and he wore the pants.
Now the pants exist! But will he wear them again?
I try to save bribery for urgent situations and not probe too deeply into what it's teaching my kids because, dang, bribery is a handy tool in a tight spot. And I don't want to give it up. (Do you bribe your kids or, uh, anybody? What for?)
Happy birthday, dear Ben! I hope you wear the green pants again, but I'll always love you entirely no matter what.