"Mommy, I feel a little taller now that I'm six."
-Jude, on the morning of his 6th birthday
Jude turned 6 on January 31st. Of all the kids' birthdays, his is always the most emotional for me as it also marks the beginning of my own journey into motherhood. So often during that first year of parenting, I experienced an array of new emotions. There was the joy that comes with having a new baby to love and a raw vulnerability in loving another person so deeply. There was lots of not knowing exactly what to do with my new baby. When I turned to others for advice, their advice often conflicted, leaving me even more confused. I wanted to trust myself and my instincts, but didn't have the confidence that comes with experience. My days were spent with Jude in arms, at breast, attached to my body in some kind of baby carrier. My nights were spent with my baby sleeping next to me. And I wondered, with all this time spent with another human being, how can I feel so lonely? I missed my job doing research and teaching. But I was thankful to have the moments at home with my son. At risk of sounding melodramatic, it was a bit of an identity crisis for me.
As Jude grew, I grew along with him. We both experienced our own growing pains but, in what seems like the blink of an eye, my baby is now half way through kindergarten - a confident 6 year old. Mothers of adults often tell me, "Enjoy it. It goes so fast." And every year that Jude's birthday rolls around, I am reminded of this truth.
To celebrate Jude turning 6, we let him have his first official big kid party where he invited the boys from his kindergarten class to go bowling. As party favors, I made the boys these shirts - their first initial appliqued onto each one.
In September, I told a friend that I would make her son a crown for his birthday. Being who I am, I waited until the last minute to do it. His birthday is February 9th but his party is on the 5th. I finished it without much time to spare (given it had to be shipped to CA) -
Since I had the materials, I decided to make one for Jude for his birthday.
Jude wore it to his party
and the other kids liked it, so one of the moms suggested I make one for the school. Each year, the parents are asked to donate something special to the school on the child's birthday. So I made one for the school as well.
I used this tutorial and really enjoyed it. Like the pattern designer, I would recommend using heavy interfacing. I tried to get away with light interfacing on Jude's crown and I preferred the feel of the crowns with heavier interfacing.
Three crowns and a bunch of shirts in three days involved lots of late night sewing, but it was fun and worth it. It's always great to do a project that comes together relatively quickly, especially when in the middle of a slow-going quilt.
We didn't get a single picture of Dan or me with the birthday boy, but Dan did snap a few of me with Evie.
Happy Birthday, Jude! Thank you for teaching me so much about being a mom. We love you!