Thursday, January 28, 2016

Little Boys in Short Pants...and Grown Men Who Tower over Their Mama

If I'd been blogging regularly lately (which I have not--and I have a million excuses, but we won't get into that right now!), I would have told you that my two youngest sons recently celebrated birthdays.  Since I was last here at String of Pearls, son #5 turned 23, and then exactly a week later, son #4 turned 28.

If you're a mother, then like me you've wondered how it is possible for time to move at warp speed when it comes to the maturation of your babies; and you'll understand me when I ask, "HOW IN THE WORLD DID THIS HAPPEN?!" Because, oh, about YESTERDAY, my two birthday boys looked like this.
My heart is bursting here.  I mean, have you ever seen a cuter pair of wee brothers?

But that photo was not taken yesterday, my friends; it was taken over two decades ago, when we were all a lot shorter in the tooth than we are now.  (Why, son #5 didn't even have any teeth at all yet!)

But as tough as it is to come to grips with the fact that it has been a very, very long time since my beloved sons have needed me for almost everything (boo hoo!), it is a unique joy and blessing to have been able to watch them morph into the tall, handsome, hardworking, responsible, kind, faith-filled, thoughtful, and loving men they are today.  (I would use more glowing adjectives, but you get my drift.)  This is what those little boys in the photo--who now tower over their mama!--look like now.
Son #4 and his mommy, at a Notre Dame football game
a few years back.

Son #5 and his mommy, out in South Bend his junior year in college.
When my boys were little, I liked to dress them in short pants and knee socks, with round-collared shirts.  I had a weakness for that classic, old-fashioned style that was part British prince and part John John Kennedy.  It was almost sad when they got too old to wear that sort of thing anymore.
Son #3 sporting a seersucker suit made by his mommy.
For our 1985 Christmas card, I bought a pattern and made matching red corduroy rompers for my two oldest boys.  (They subsequently got passed down to my younger sons over the years.)
The wreath embellishment was added later; it was on the romper when son
#4 wore it for our 1989 Christmas photo.
Not one to get rid of anything with the least bit of sentimental value, over 30 years later I still have those red rompers hanging in a closet, ready to be borrowed by my grandsons, and I also have the pattern.

Recently, my daughter-in-law Ginger, who is married to son #2 and is the mother of two-month-old Junior, showed me a website she liked called the Beaufort Bonnet Company--and a navy blue romper in a style the company calls the "Jon Jon" that she dearly wanted for her little guy (for a couple of weddings he'll be attending this year) but thought was too expensive.
I immediately noticed that the Jon Jon romper looked an awful lot like the red rompers I'd made for my boys back in the day, and luckily, I still had the pattern!  So I offered to make a knock-off for her, using some navy blue velveteen that came from the extensive fabric collection my late mother-in-law had in her attic (as I've been given carte blanche by my sisters-in-law to use anything from Mom's stash for my sewing projects).  Ginger was thrilled, but wasn't sure what size to "order," since the weddings are months away and there's no telling how big little Junior might get in the interim.  This romper pattern is one of the easiest I've ever used, so I decided I'd just go ahead and make it in two sizes.
I can hardly wait to see my little grandson in this romper.  But my advice to Ginger is to savor every minute that he's small enough to dress like this, in short pants and knee socks...because before she knows it, he too will be a grown-up man who towers over his mama.

That's what happens, but it's all good.  It's all MORE than good.  You miss your babies when they grow up, leave the nest, and start families of their own; but then along come brand new blessings (some of them are called daughters-in-law and grandchildren!) that fill the empty places in your mother's heart.


  1. Oh my gosh, I love those rompers!!! He will look so cute in it!

    1. I love this style for little boys. He will be adorable in it!

  2. How sweet! It's so cool that you are talented enough to make things for your grandchildren.

    1. Madeline, I am actually thrilled when I can do something like this. They're all so far away, and I can't do "hands on" things with them every day. When I'm home working at my sewing machine, putting together something for one of them, I feel connected and filled with purpose.

      I don't know if you've ever heard of the five love languages (my husband and I hadn't, until we got some daughters-in-law); but I'm pretty sure my #1 is quality time together. However, that's followed closely by acts of service. So I'm thrilled to have sewing projects (which I suppose I can put in the acts of service category) to do for my sweet grandchildren. :)

  3. How sweet! It's so cool that you are talented enough to make things for your grandchildren.

  4. Oh my goodness, those rompers are SO cute!!! I love seeing all the things you create for your grandkids :)

    1. Grandchildren are so much fun to do things for!!!