Archives for June 2008

Feeling the Love

It’s been a couple of weeks since I closed up shop at Skookum Baby. And, since that time, I’ve had 3 sales. It’s sort of funny, because that’s a pretty busy few weeks for me. In that time others have expressed regret, and let me know that they’re sad they won’t be able to buy my products anymore.

I’m still closing, don’t get me wrong The thought of trying to fill orders in my current state is daunting, and baby Jacob’s still bobbing quietly in amniotic fluid. There’s no way I can give a small business the time it deserves once this little guy makes his debut. Still, this all drove something home for me – I have a customer base. I’ve built relationships, and people like my products. It feels good to know that I made something that is useful and that people (perhaps in very small numbers ;-)) actually want.

It may be time to move on, but I’m deeply touched. And I’m also glad. It’s clear to me that I’m part of a wider community, that there are people out there who follow me and what I’m up to. And that, that part feels really really good.

Making up for Lost Time

I’ve been AWOL, I admit it. What have I been up to? Sewing and knitting and nesting, mostly. And, at long last, gardening. Our yard is done!

Hannah has also been keeping me busy. We’ve had her end-of-year school concert, general 3-year-old mayhem, and now she’s starting a new school in July.

And, of course, I’m getting larger by the day. I’m 32 weeks now, and Jacob seems to be right on target. He’s growing well, his heartbeat is great, and he’s head-down but not engaged. As for me, I’m experiencing heartburn for the first time in my life – pregnancy is a real joy sometimes, let me tell you. I’m also starting to outgrow my maternity shirts. They’re maternity shirts, for the love of Mike! You can see for yourself how I looked yesterday:

32 week belly

Eating Paste

I have to say, I think I am a bit of a slacker mom. And I sort of like it that way. It’s OK with me if other kids are faster, smarter, or more outgoing than Hannah. I have limited energy when it comes to participating in enrichment activities. I don’t send my child to full-time preschool, nor do I spend time on structured learning at home. Hannah is 3 years old, and I don’t believe that her behaviour or achievements now are any sort of reliable indicator of her future success in life.

Also, I’m not that concerned about Hannah’s future success in life. I really hope that she becomes a self-supporting, functioning adult who leaves home before she’s 30. But I don’t really care if she’s a hairdresser or surgeon or poet. So, I hold my tongue in her classes as other parents are spurring their preschoolers on to greater success. And I bristle at the suggestion that I should be helping her to succeed more rapidly at school.

Let’s face it. My kid will grow up before I know it. She’s only going to be 3 once. And I would rather that she spend that time laughing and playing and doing silly stuff than pretty much anything else. I say, let her eat paste! As I recall, it doesn’t taste that bad. 😉

I’m such a nerd

Yes, I’ve been doing the TV Sports thing for quite awhile, and should be a lot more jaded, but I still think this is cool. It was still on my Tivo, this is a frame grab of the end credits of the Stanley Cup Final.

This year I got to do games in Vancouver (lots), Dallas, Phoenix (twice), and Denver (2 playoff games). For a hockey fan, that’s a pretty cool gig.

HNIC Credit

Disappointment

You know how you look at your odometer, and it’s nearing a significant point, like say 80,000 km? So you think to yourself, as you set out on your way to work, that you should pay attention. Because you don’t want to miss the momentous moment when the numbers all roll over. And then, later, you’re leaving work and your odometer is at 80,006 km and you’re disappointed. Because you totally forgot, and now you don’t get to see all the nines change into zeroes. And it will never happen again. You know?

Or, maybe you don’t know. Maybe it’s just me.

To Everything There is a Season

I am not religious, but I do have favourite Bible passages, and one of them is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Like many people I am most familiar with this particular piece of poetry thanks to the hippie anthem “Turn! Turn! Turn!” popularized by The Byrds. Even without the catchy tune, though, the words are compelling. In our lives there are many seasons, many times, when we must act or not act. Whether these seasons are directed by God or fate or circumstance, I leave it wiser people than I to determine. I only know that I am coming to a significant season now.

It is time for a new beginning in my life, and also an ending. I will be birthing my second child this summer, and there are few beginnings that are more significant than that. This means that I must also consider how I will arrange my life to accommodate this little person, and I have decided to close up shop at Skookum Baby. I am simply not able to devote the time I would like to this little venture, and I know that this will only get worse. I still have a few items in stock that I am willing to share with friends and family, but I won’t be promoting this business or selling on-line anymore. I also may or may not be willing to sew something new for you. Of course, I am always available to answer your questions about any products you have.

I had some fun, and I learned a lot with my little venture. I have much greater respect for entrepreneurs than I ever did before. It’s a lot of work to create a business, more than I imagined, which is one reason I’m throwing in the towel. I’ve also discovered just how poorly work like sewing is remunerated, and how undervalued handcrafts are in general. These items are truly labours of love, and if you calculate the average wage someone receives after materials and overhead, let’s just say they’re fairly paltry. And I’ve also re-discovered my own joy in designing and producing things, which more than compensates for the hard work, especially if I am doing it simply because I love it.

I will probably keep on sewing sporadically. I will almost certainly feel compelled to make a new baby carrier for Jacob, and I can’t imagine I won’t heed the call of the beautiful fabrics I’ve stored up. This season of my life, this venture, may draw to a close but I will not leave all that I’ve gained behind. And I will have a new little person to carry along with me on the journey. It is my son’s season to be born, and so it is a season of finishing and planning for me. There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.

Baby Blues

This afternoon I have been sorting baby clothes. I’ve gone through big bins containing pretty much every article of clothing Hannah’s ever worn, from the day she was born right on up. There are receiving blankets, teeny-tiny socks, and dozens of sleepers. But mostly, for me, there are memories.

I sorted through the clothes because most of what Hannah’s worn has been pink, flowery, and/or frilly. Since I know that this next baby will be a boy, I went spelunking for the few gender neutral items we had. Along the way I had to pass over so many things. Little shoes that I loved, the little purple outfit that I was so proud to dress her in for a visit to the midwives (she finally fit it!), the pants that I bought her when she was very small because I wanted her to wear ‘real’ clothes.

It made me sad, packing away all the little girl things. The odds are pretty good that I will never need them again. These precious baby things will likely be passed along down the line to someone else with a little girl. I am crying again, thinking of it all. Probably no other baby of mine will wear the special dress I chose for Hannah’s dedication, or my favourite little pink pantsuit. And knowing that few of the clothes that will work for Jacob held special meaning for me.

I know that down the road I will likely mourn Jacob’s little outfits in the same way. The overalls I adored, his first pair of shoes, the first clothes I bought just for him. I don’t think that my emotional outburst is because I am sad to have a boy. I think it’s because I am sad to see my little girl grow up, and today I have come face to face with the reality that she will do that, she will never be small again, she will outgrow all the relics of her childhood. And I am not ready to part with these things that’s she’s shedding along the way.

Of course, I don’t know that I won’t have another little girl one day. I could. But even if I do, I will certainly find myself back at this place again. The place where I need to acknowledge that the past, my child’s infancy, is over. Whether I like it or not. Whether I’m ready or not. It’s tricky, this motherhood business, wanting so much for my baby to grow up and being sad when she does. Toiling so hard to put yourself out of a job.

I will admit, though, I am very glad to be done with the night wakings and the diapers and the continual neediness of infancy. And I’m a little scared to be undertaking it again imminently. Maybe having kids grow up isn’t so bad. It’s just that there are moments when you realize that it’s all happening so fast, and you can never get it back. Not even the good parts.

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