“seams legit” sewing lesson: trousers!

Hello and – how are you faring in the heat (Northern Hemisphere peeps)? We had a great time last month sewing a hoodie. This month we are making trousers!

So listen – this sew-along separates the wheat from the chaff. The women from the girls. The homies from the squares! It isn’t so much that this project is difficult, it is just rather detail-oriented! The good news is, we will gain experience in some great techniques: a lapped zip fly, faced front pockets, welt back pockets, and a waistband with belt loops.

C’mon – it’ll be fun!

The pattern we are using for the sew-along is the Chinos pattern from Wardrobe by Me. This is a men’s cut pattern with the following size range:

Men’s:
waist: 32″ to 41″
hip: 35″ to 44″


And for the month of August, pattern designer Christina has offered a discount code for $2 off the pattern; just use Chino19 in checkout!

Kelly Hogaboom, trousers livestream

You can sign up for this livestream videos on Facebook, if you want a reminder and updates!

A reminder that for all sew-alongs in my Seams Legit series you need:

1. a machine with its manual; the machine needs to be tuned-up and sewing a balanced zig-zag

2. the supplies listed in the pattern, as well as a thorough read-through of the pattern you use

This sew-along will take place in three installments:

1. August 2nd, 2019: cutting, interfacing, & marking [ video here ]
2. August 16th, 2019: front and back pockets, plus zip fly
3. August 30th, 2019: pant construction & finishing

SUPPLIES:

Rotary cutter and mat; marking tools & tracing medium

Sewing machine with balanced zig zag; sewing machine manual

Chinos pattern

Thread and machine needle: universal or sharp

Bottomweight fabric such as linen, suiting, twill, or cotton

Pocket lining fabric, preferably cotton

Button

Zipper

Non-stretch interfacing (1 yard)

So here’s what you need to do:

1. read through this post, & purchase your pattern & supplies

2. pre-treat your fabrics

3. sew with us live on the 2nd, 16th, and 30th (on my FB page or my Twitch stream)!

Video 1:

Kelly Hogaboom, Trouser livestream
2019 "Seams Legit" calendar
Pierogi!

pierogi

Pierogi!

Pierogis are time intensive. You can make the sour cream, the dough, and the potato filling the day before. Refrigerate them all, and place the dough on the counter for about an hour before you split the dough into balls.

Makes 32 pierogis!

Sour cream
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or boiled twenty minutes
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon pink salt, plus more to taste
juice of one lemonwater

Dough
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup vegan butter
softened lukewarm water

Filling
3 medium potatoes
1/3 cup soy milk
1/3 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
juice of one lemon
black pepper
seasoning salt

Peanut oil for frying

Sour cream:
Rinse the cashews and process them, adding the remaining ingredients and water to the consistency you’d like. Process, process, process, using a spatula to scrape down the mix periodically. Be patient. You can get the sour cream very smooth! Salt to taste then set in the refrigerator, covered.

Dough:
Mix dough ingredients using enough water to make a very soft, tacky dough. Kneading for several minutes; really take your time kneading and add water sparingly. While you don’t want the dough to stick to the table, a softer dough will roll out better and a firm one will be frustrating. Set in an oiled bowl to rise until doubled in size (or refrigerate overnight, removing the bowl two hours before you want to start forming balls for the pierogis).

Potato filling:
Peel and wash potatoes; cut into even chunks about the size of a golf ball. Bring a tureen of salted water to boil. Boil potatoes until tender when pieced with a fork. Drain the potatoes, then rice or mash them well until they are smooth (don’t use a mixer or food processor)! Heat the soy milk and add it as well as the rest of the filling ingredients, whisking and varying the lemon juice to taste.

To assemble:
Clean your counter space and lightly dust with flour. When the dough has warmed to room temperature, split it into 32 even sections (by first splitting the dough into two halves, then each section halves again, and so forth) and roll these 32 blobs into a ball, placing these balls next to one another and covering with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Let rest thirty minutes and lay out waxed paper for the formed pierogis.

Place a dish of lukewarm water at hand. Heat a large tureen of salted water while you stuff the pierogis. I simply mash each ball with the palm of my hand, and my pierogi partner fills them with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling. Before sealing, wet half the dough circle rim with water and really pinch them closed, carefully enclosing all your potato filling (you will get the hang of this quickly). Set each pierogi on wax paper until they are all finished and in a series of rows.

Pinch them closed again right before boiling! A split pierogi is a sad thing. I mean, so I hear. I’ve never split one, myself! :brag:

Carefully add the pierogi to the now-boiling tureen by slipping them in the water. Gently boil the pierogi in batches. Since this is a yeasted dough, they will likely float right away. Carefully turn them in the soft boil and cook about five minutes, until they are glossy and sealed. Remove each one with a slotted spoon, back to a rack so they can drain. You want them as dry as possible for the next stage.

When the pierogi are boiled go ahead and carefully pour out your tureen, wipe down your stovetop, and set your pan(s) out to fry on medium high heat (I use two large cast iron pans). Add a healthy bit of peanut oil and get the pan all warmed up. Carefully add pierogi to the pan(s) – they might sputter a bit – being careful not to overcrowd as you cook in batches. You might fiddle with the heat a bit here; you want them to cook to golden brown relatively quickly. Remove each to a warm plate as you cook.

Serve pierogi with a side of sour cream and watch them disappear! It’s *magic*!

though they be but little, they are fierce

The restaurant is crowded with happy Friday night diners; the delicious headiness of frying onions and peppers, brisk steps of servers walking between tables, jubilant voices bubbling over one another. In the foyer, a woman in a smart apron stands at a portable bar smashing ripe avocado with a large mortar and pestle, right on the spot making guacamole. She scoops small portions of this deliciousness into cups, garnishes each with a fresh tortilla chip, and passes the delightful repast to waiting customers.

We have ordered, our drinks are arriving, and it’s time to wash hands. I stand, and my eldest hovers at my elbow. “You’re fine, you can do it,” I say cheerfully, and put a confident hand on his back. We split up into our separate restrooms and I am in and out quickly; hair standing on the back of my neck, a deep breath. Every journey into a public men’s room is fraught and I relentlessly muster a casual confidence I do not always feel. Every other diner in the place has no clue; they are chattering, lifting frosty drinks to mouths, forks busy. But a simple family dinner out is a little less simple for us, most of the time.

My sons speak the same language these days, back and forth, snickering over phone screens and sharing meme-speak. Nels came out as gay June 1st and it seems to have brought the two of them closer together. Their disagreements have matured, as well; and they argue rarely. A terse word here or there, and the other will usually back off. I can’t say there aren’t resentments here or there simmering beneath the surface, but mostly they get on like a house on fire.

Their temperaments are, as ever, the moon and the sun. Phoenix, the eldest, solicitous, more community-minded within the family. Nels, recently hooked in to a group of five teen boys who are passionately gaming and socializing together every waking hour, well Nels is a little flightier, a little more self-absorbed.

Astonishingly, my scheduled two-week break from work is almost up. Time is flying, of course. In spite of this I have enjoyed more time with the boys, more time reading barely-historical novels and watching creepy television, and more time for family projects – for instance, today, surprising Ralph on his birthday by having car speakers installed and scrubbing the kitchen floor.

I am continually amazed at how quickly those early child-rearing days flew. And it seems I receive so many reminders; as friends, old and new, have their own babies. I drank deeply of those early years, and they passed so quickly regardless. It’s easy to lose my head and rush off to more work and new things, but I know if I’m not very mindful this present reality will fly by, too.

Kelly Hogaboom, Hoodie livestream

“seams legit” sewing lesson: a hoodie!

Kelly Hogaboom, Hoodie livestream

Update: both videos are up (#1 and #2)! They are linked at the bottom of this post.

It’s July – already! We had a great time last month sewing up a sundress. This month we are making a zip hoodie! I know, I know – for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere it might be hot as balls outside. But the thing is, this means it’s also evening bonfire weather – and believe it or not, fall isn’t that far off.

You can sign up for this livestream event on Facebook, if you want a reminder and updates!

A reminder that for all sew-alongs in my Seams Legit series you need:

1. a machine with its manual; the machine needs to be tuned-up and sewing a balanced zig-zag

2. the supplies listed in the pattern, as well as a thorough read-through of the pattern you use

I demonstrate all my cutting with rotary and mat. You will need your fabrics pre-washed, and your fabric pieces cut by Friday the 26th at noon PST. I will demonstrate the homework/fabric prep, in a video at the bottom of this post.

SUPPLIES:

 

Rotary cutter and mat

Sewing machine with balanced zig zag; sewing machine manual

pattern (children’s, women’s, men’s, or a bundle!)

Thread and machine needle: universal or ballpoint

stable 2-way stretch knit (35% stretch)

drawstring fabric & contrast fabric for drawstring eyelet

separating zipper

non-stretch interfacing (1/8 yard)

As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, each project gets successively more complex. This hoodie – especially as it’s sewn in a stable knit – isn’t difficult at all – just a few steps. And the absolutely gorgeous details – like the little welt pockets? – are going to make you feel like a rock star when you’re finished!

So here’s what you need to do:

1. read through this post & purchase your pattern & supplies;

2. pre-treat your fabrics & cut your pieces

3. sew with us live on the 26th (on my FB page or my Twitch stream)!

Children’s:
chest: 19 3/4″ to 32″
hip: 20 1/4″ to 33 1/2″

Women’s:
chest: 29″ to 51 1/2″
hip: 31″ to 53 1/2″

Men’s:
chest: 33″ to 56″
hip: 33″ to 56″

So if you look below – for an individual with a chest of 40″, waist of 37″, and hip of 42″, you will see this individual falls within the Medium size. This is the size I will print and cut.

Kelly Hogaboom, Hoodie livestream

Once you’ve determined the size you need, you will be cutting out your paper pattern and your fabrics. Below, I’ve attached both videos in the series. By the end of the first video you will have all your fabrics and interfacing strips cut out. By the end of the second, your hoodie will be completed.


[ video 1 ][ video 2 ]

Two notes:

In the first video, I only cut out two pocket pieces; you should cut out four.

In the second video, I baste-fit the front of the hoodie for the zipper insertion, then I abandoned this method to pin instead. The zipper insertion is the most difficult part of the hoodie. When you get to my baste-fitting adventure, ignore that part of the lesson. Relax and have a sip of tea, or read ahead, or tidy your sewing space.

Any questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments below.

2019 "Seams Legit" calendar
Father's Day Hike

I’m a flower / you’re my bee

Father's Day Hike

It isn’t summer according to the calendar, but the weather has turned. It’s gorgeous outside; sunshine most days, warming the driveway where kitty Pip regally lolls as he surveys the neighborhood. A warm rain other days; the absolute greenery of trees a fresh, indescribably rich scent as we travel inside with our groceries.

The quiet in the evenings, after dinner is done and the teens have settled into their companionable laughter with friends online. I open the windows and put a few drops of essential oils in the diffuser and take a hot shower and pad through the house in bare feet and a soft t-shirt and knickers. My body is tired and spent from yoga and hard work. My bed is made and I await my husband. Family life is a paradise, when it’s not a hell. But it’s a paradise most every day and has been for years.

My work, I have had so much work. I am glad for it, but I have had to focus diligently as to not lose myself. Focus too, to schedule a two-week sabbatical in July. This engineered break has taken every bit of discipline and ingenuity for me to plan. Obviously I am grateful to have the kind of steady clientele I can take a break; too much work is a good problem to have. The kids and I will be swimming and sunning and beach-ing and iced coffee-ing like goodballs.

And meanwhile, in between client work a break to sew myself new chonies. I’ve got a concert in the park coming up with the kids, in Portland, OR and by then it will be hot as balls. Gotta make myself a dress that weighs nothing, and a big ol’ sunhat. These are the preoccupations my mind runs to, when I’m in bed and retiring for the day.

 

Easy Tiger

Kelly Hogaboom, Sundress Livestream

“seams legit” sewing lesson: a sundress!

Kelly Hogaboom, Sundress Livestream

Update: all three of our videos are uploaded! You can follow along here:

[Video 1]
[Video 2]
[Video 3]

"Seams Legit" June 2019: sewing a sundress!

It’s June, it’s heating up, and the studio is staying cool! We had a lovely time sewing up a t-shirt in June; this month we are stepping up and making ourselves a light sundress!

A reminder that for all sew-alongs in my Seams Legit series you need:

1. a machine with its manual; the machine needs to be tuned-up and sewing a balanced zig-zag

2. the supplies listed in the pattern, as well as a thorough read-through of the pattern you use

I demonstrate all my cutting with rotary and mat. You will need your fabrics pre-washed, and your fabric pieces cut by Friday the 28th at noon PST. In addition, you will want to do your homework: prepping your paper pattern pieces, pre-treating and cutting out your fabrics. I will demonstrate how to do this at the end of this post.

So! Let’s talk about this month’s project!

SUPPLIES:

Rotary cutter and mat

Sewing machine with balanced zig zag; sewing machine manual

Pattern

Thread and machine needle: universal or sharp

light woven fabric (lawn, voile, batiste or gauze)

Invisible zipper

Non-stretch interfacing (1/8 yard)

As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, each project gets successively more complex. For this sundress, you will need to do the following:

1. read through this post, & purchase your pattern & supplies;

2. create facings, pre-treat fabrics & cut your pieces (video here);

3. sew with us live on the 28th (on
my FB page or my Twitch stream):

[Video 2]
[Video 3]

For our pattern, we will be using a simple sleeveless dress pattern by Bootstrap fashion, featuring double box pleats at the skirt waist and very pretty chevron pleats in the fitted bodice. You can find the pattern here.

Like all Bootstrap, Tailornova, and Lekala patterns, you get to insert your own measurements and body proportions. This pattern therefore has a large size range:

waist: 17″ to 67″
hip: 17″ to 68″


We will be making a few changes: creating our own facings, adding pockets, and inserting a center back invisible zipper (instead of a side zip).

You can either buy extra yardage, or print and cut the pattern out to determine your yardage (make sure you account for the facings we will be adding).

For this pattern, you first need to create your Bootstrap account if you haven’t already (I have a walk-through on this previous post). Then, you need to find the pattern, and take the following measurements to enter into the pattern generator:

Height
Bust
Underbust
Waist
Upper arm
Low hip

Belly protuberance

Each of these measurements has a little red asterisk (*) next to the input window, so you can see a helpful diagram of exactly how to take the measurement.

You may notice there are other measurements you can take; like the “Hips + Belly (Optional)”. Ignore these for now. Do make sure to select your seam allowance, and the PRINT option at 36″, to send to a copy shop (I use pdfplotting.com).

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them!

Please take your time making sure you have the exact measurements you need, and they are entered correctly. Make sure also, you have seam allowance selected and the correct PRINT format (36″).

This project takes more time to set up, than to actually sew. So do yourself a favor and get your pattern printed soon, calculate the yardage needed, buy your fabrics and notions, create your facings, and prepare for our sewing date on the 28th!

"Seams Legit" June 2019: sewing a sundress!
We prepare our paper pattern, create our facings and pockets, and cut and mark our fabrics.

I am always available here or through email. Any questions? Comment below!

2019 "Seams Legit" calendar
Kelly Hogaboom, T-shirt Livestream

“seams legit” sewing lesson: a t-shirt!

 

Kelly Hogaboom, T-shirt Livestream

Update: the livestream video is here on Facebook.

It’s May (yay!), it’s sunny (wow!), and the spring spiders are visiting me in my studio (yikes)! We had a lovely time sewing up pyjama pants in April; this month we are stepping into another simple project in a knit fabric: a t-shirt!

A reminder that for all sew-alongs in my Seams Legit series you need:

1. a machine with its manual; the machine needs to be tuned-up and sewing a balanced zig-zag

2. the supplies listed in the pattern, as well as a thorough read-through of the pattern you use.

I demonstrate all my cutting with rotary and mat. You will need your fabrics pre-washed and your paper pattern printed and cut, by Friday the 31st at noon PST.

So! Let’s talk about this month’s project!

There are many types of t-shirts out there; the one I’ve selected is about as simple as can be. This is Ellie & Mac’s “Everyday Tee”, and it features dolman sleeves (therefore no shoulder seam), a scoop neck, and a curvy shape (fuller in the bust and hip). Ellie & Mac has been so gracious as to offer us a 50% off coupon; simply enter the code Seamslegit to receive!

For our class I will be sewing on my domestic Pfaff, and finishing seams with a 3-thread serge; that said, I will also demonstrate how to construct the garment using a sewing machine only.

Kelly Hogaboom, T-shirt Livestream (Everyday Tee by Ellie & Mac)

Size range:

waist: 29″ to 60″
hip: 33 1/2″ to 63″

My advice is that you acquire the pattern, print the instructions off, pour a cup of coffee or tea, and read through it.

SUPPLIES:

   Rotary cutter and mat

   Sewing machine with balanced zig zag; sewing machine manual

 Thread and machine needle: universal, ballpoint, or jersey

 knit fabric with 50% 4-way stretch

The exact quantities of each material are detailed in your pattern, which is why it is important to read through the instructions before purchasing supplies. The Ellie & Mac pattern I chose is very beginner-friendly in that it goes through everything you could possibly want to know, before starting! The downside is that this can be a bit overwhelming for a beginner, so really take the time to read it through. If you have any questions, you can write them below.

Most people will sew this top up with a cotton lycra, or a bamboo, modal, or rayon lycra. Both options are wonderful; I personally love bamboo, and I further think that Nature’s Fabrics’ bamboo spandex jersey cannot be improved upon.

This is a simple and fast sew, but it’s a pretty fantastic one. Tweaking a t-shirt pattern to our exact favorite fit, is both a joy and an obsession of mine!

I am always available here or through email. Any questions? Comment below!

 

2019

 

Newborn Nels

happy birthday, Nels

Nels David Hogaboom

a birth story

Born at home to mom Kelly, dad Ralph, and sibling Phoenix
1:20 AM Wednesday April 7, 2004
8 pounds 7 ounces
21 inches long

April 6th, 9 AM – is it or isn’t it?

A couple hours after I wake up on Tuesday I’m having mild contractions that are only a tiny bit more intense than the Braxton Hicks contractions I’d had throughout the last half of my pregnancy. They are only slightly painful and certainly not too intense. Nevertheless, they are somewhat distracting and never truly subside, coming anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes apart. Ralph senses things are going to go into motion and comes home at noon, starting his two weeks off of work. He calls my mom at about 3 PM and tells her to head up to see us (she leaves about 5 PM). At this point I am hopeful of labor but also feeling somewhat silly at the thought I might be treating everyone to a false alarm. My mom arrives at about 9 PM and she and Ralph start writing down my contractions, calling midwives, and cleaning the house up a bit.

Kelly Hogaboom, Pyjamas Livestream

“seams legit” sewing lesson: pyjama pants!

It’s April, and spring is well underway here in the Pacific Northwest! We had a lovely time sewing a bralette in March; and this month we are stepping into woven fabrics (literally) by creating a simple pair of pyjama pants with pockets!

Let’s talk about this month’s project!

Whether or not we know it at the time, most of us first start our sewing exploits with woven fabrics. They are stable, they are more generally available (many of us small-town stitchers get our start by using the quilting cottons from local shops) and for a variety of reasons they are used in more beginner projects and classes.

This has been changing of late, though. With the advent of more independent sewing pattern designers we are seeing far more patterns designed for knit fabrics. This has led to a larger baseline knowledge of knit-sewing in the DIY community, as well as many knit custom fabric suppliers – a wonderful change indeed!

A Little Sun

one-legged balance

A Little Sun

Any engaged, active parent will tell you that children and teens go through stages we aren’t ready for. I’m not talking about childhood milestones – losing their baby teeth, learning to walk, mastering the ability to read – landmarks which are fairly universal and usually bring much delight in those whirlwind years of early parenting.

I am talking about those changes that we wrestle with, because they are shifts of personality and values that are stark, startling, and profound. I’m talking about the upheavals we weren’t ready for and that knock us back a bit – or a lot. These are stages we usually navigate pretty gracelessly – at first not seeing the sea change for what it is, fighting it or unconsciously resisting it – and then scrambling to keep up as we begin to comprehend: Our child is different now!  Twenty years ago I remember my friend Parker telling me about the last time he held his son’s hand, when the boy was twelve. He had somehow caught that it would be the last time (what a gift!), and he’d treasured this deeply as they walked together down a forest lane.

I understand the pain and sweetness of such an experience just a little more, today.

My youngest child is going through such a change. I have not, in my decades of parenting experience, previously beheld such an abrupt shift. This is a child who coslept with me into his double-digit years, and who every day would approach me several times to hug and kiss, who has been sitting on my lap long past the time he surpassed me in height. This is a child who since the age of three would tenderly chide his “Little Mama!” and offer sly, loving affections most times I entered the room. I have homeschooled this boy and I have had more time with him than most parents ever get with theirs. I drank up deep draughts of those days and I never grew tired of the elixir; I always found it delicious. Day after day of these caresses and his beautiful brown arms tangling up in mine and his laughter like crystal warming the home. I had this Eden for as long as one could.

Those days – are gone.

And I mean they are gone, and the change happened within just a few days – after almost fifteen years of such a bounty. I can’t begin to express my shock and confusion.

At first, you know, I thought something was wrong. I thought he was going through a distraction; I thought he was having a bad couple of days.

***

I practice yoga every single day of my life; I have been doing so for a few years. The other morning I moved through several one-legged balancing and strength postures – Tree, One-legged Tadasana, Warrior Three – with confidence, with joy and swiftness, and with a smoothness that has been patiently earned. As I hung suspended in air I reflected on this stability; it has arrived only after years of fairly unglamorous body work, of actively and repetitively engaging all these muscles large and small, finding new support through a myriad of subtle counterbalances. Now these once-difficult movements are a joy to me and this physical delight carries me through the rest of my day. Such is the benefit of yogic practice.

I’ve been practicing parental yoga for years, every day, too. I don’t wobble like I used to. It took me about a week to realize my son had shifted; only a week to perceive things had once again changed, forever. Upon this awareness a torrent of emotions flooded my body and mind; surprise being the foremost, quickly giving way to shock. And I felt, and still feel, a profound grief radiate from within my body’s center, a body blow that is so massive and middle-deep that I can patiently feel this bruise and know that it will last, it won’t shift swiftly. Hello grief! Welcome. Again.

I know, too, that what my child needs the most right now is privacy, respect, and personal dignity; I know not to whine or complain about the change because I have other, better ways to process my pain. After a couple days’ awkwardness, I stopped asking him for hugs. I stood at my kitchen sink and held my loneliness in my hands and knew I would treasure it; it is mine after all, it is not something he or anyone else created within me. It is the gift of many years’ floods, swelling on the beach and warming the sands, and now the sky has turned cold for a little while and frost creeps around the edges.

I started, instead, offering hugs to this child – offering, not demanding – less frequently than I would like. After a day or two he came out of his standoffishness; he hadn’t asked me to change, but he clearly appreciated my retreat. I have slowed down and become more circumspect in how I address him. I ask his preferences. He hugs me differently, the earthy sunshine shifting out of his straw-colored hair and a remote coolness within his slender body; his shoulders ever-broader and his physicality a glancing one. I am patient. I can survive.

And of course, as is my prerogative, I have engaged him directly – but only a little. A little, a little – no lectures and no feelings-talk. I will tell him about my feelings at some point but I will give it time, and I will share with him two sentences or so. For now: I am a parent, and I have a beautiful obligation.

Two days ago I sit with this child over morning coffee and I ask him if he is angry with me; he’d spoken maybe fifteen words to me the day before. His face clouds and a flinch of irritation passes over his countenance and he says, “You said it was just a stage.”

I think carefully before I respond. “Yes – and no. The part of you that doesn’t want to hug or kiss, that doesn’t want to snuggle and that wants to spend all your time with your friends – that’s a stage. That’s a normal part of development, and it’s a good thing. That will pass and who knows what will happen next.”

I continue: “But the part of you that is angry with me, that has thoughts about me and how I behave, those are things we should talk about.” After a moment, he shares. He has been feeling acute unfairness with regards to a housework duty. He believes I favor his older brother in this regard. I ask questions. We talk. After a few moments I can see he feels heard and understood.

We propose changes to our routine, and later in the day we bring them to the other two family members.

I know there is more to talk about. But not all in one day.

When I was a child, my strong emotions and behavioral changes were not treated skillfully. I was called names – “little Hitler”, “asshole”, I was told repeatedly that I was selfish. I was yelled at to “Show some respect!”; I was slapped. I was mocked for displaying strong emotions and I was belittled for how deeply I felt them. I was told, “Don’t be upset!” By the time I was a teenager I felt ashamed of my strong feelings, particularly anger or aggression. I felt a strong pressure to hide these experiences under a mask of civility and inauthenticity. I’d long lost the memory of what it felt like to seek out my parents for physical affection and comfort.

How I was raised, was not good enough for our future. My partner and I have made a different path.

So: my children will not know these humiliations in their home. They will know respect, privacy, and deep nurture. These periods of change, these are the times when we most need to honor their dignity. This is when the habits of our earlier parenting come to the fore and we reap what we’ve sown.

I grew this practice. This balancing practice. It is not without its wobbles, but it is surprisingly stable all the same. I planted this practice while they were small; I patiently tended it every day with ferocity and with persistence.

It sustains us still.

***

If you like my works on parenting, please sign up to receive notices about my upcoming publication:

HOW NOT TO FUCK UP YOUR CHILD
(ANY MORE THAN THE WORLD FUCKS WITH THEM ALREADY)
(working title)
(shipping date TBA)