This weekend my husband and I attended our 20th high school reunion. We caught up with many friends from our pasts, unearthed answers to decades-old questions (both trivial and significant), and stumbled across memories we didn't even know we had forgotten. After the events came to a close (yes, events–there were three), I felt happy. Happy to know that old friends were doing well, happy to find that–in anticipating a major upheaval in our little family during the coming weeks, months, and even years–we are doing quite well, too. Nice to have that reminder reflected right back at you. We're solid.
But of course, the weeks leading up to the reunion weren't filled with deep thoughts about my past. No philosophical musings about how both of our lives had been shaped in part by these people we were about to re-meet. No. The weeks leading up to the reunion, at least for me, were spent sifting through my closet. What to wear, what to wear? I mean, THREE OUTFITS. That's asking a lot of a stay-at-home mom who hasn't been to a fancy restaurant, a dressy social gathering, or even a movie in over a year. Right now, "Steppin' Out with My Baby" means exactly that. Out with my baby. Capris, t-shirt, slip-on Mary Janes. And baby wipes for the impending mess on the t-shirt.
After a try-on marathon I felt confident about my fashion choices for two events:
Friday evening, alumni-only night at the high school: typical Stay-at-Home Mom attire. Capris, t-shirt, slip-on Mary Janes. With the addition of a beautiful beaded necklace my sister made. Fancy enough.
Saturday evening, dress-up banquet with real alcohol drinks and other indulgent stuff I had forgotten existed: chose the Stay-at-Home Rock Star look. I put the outfit together a few days before and walked into the front yard to show my husband. I immediately felt like I should hide. My neighbors didn't know this Jenny. Bretty said it was my style, though. And he had that look in his eye. (Yep, that one.) Done deal.
The third event was a Saturday afternoon picnic at a local park. Take the kids, bring your lunch, hang out and have fun kind of thing. A few weeks before I came across this post about making a skirt out of a sheet. I had been stuck for days trying to sew my first skirt from this Amy Butler pattern. I needed a break from it. A skirt from a sheet, huh? I figured I could at least finish it.
But instead of a sheet, I found two pillow shams I liked. Four bucks thrifted. See?
I unpicked the seams and decided I had enough fabric to do . . . something.
I added a raw-edge detail similar to the detail in the Amy Butler pattern I had been trying, trying, trying to complete.
Then I decided to add a big fat hem.
Ran out of fabric for a second hem, so I stole a bit of green from my stash.
And here's the finished skirt, all pressed and prettied up.
And here it is on me.
And finally, with less than ten minutes to decide what to wear before we departed to the picnic, I chose the pillow-sham skirt. With a t-shirt. And slip-on Mary Janes. And baby wipes for the mayonnaise and mustard and chocolate that 15-month-old Charlie ground into my skirt and shirt in an effort to keep mama within arms' reach among all the strangers. (I think there was some ground-in cheese, too.)
So. Stay-at-home mama. Stay-at-home rock star. Stay-at-home pillow-shams-into-skirt maker. Hmm. Perhaps I confused a few old friends who saw me at all three events. I mean, who was the real me? Who had Jenny become over these 20 years?
I remember reading a required book for one of my Women's Studies classes in college. It was called "Women's Ways of Knowing." It detailed exactly seven different ways that women could develop their self, voice, and mind. Seven ways of knowing.
When it came time to discuss the book in class, I was called on for my opinion. All I had to say was, "I am all of these women. I am all of them."
I am a stay-at-home mom. I am a rock star. (Okay, a wanna-be rock star. Still.) I am a thrifty pillow-sham-skirt-makin' fool.
I am all of these women. I am all of them.