A Bandana for His Pocket

This guy right here.  Love.  Him.

This guy right here. Love. Him.

We’ve been home all week, with only the trip to the Medstop for a diagnosis of strep and by the pharmacy for the stuff to make us better.  Today I encouraged the littles to go outside and burn off some energy, as they are both a little stir crazy now that they’ve reached that point of feeling some better but still running a little fever.  This is what my little guy decked himself out in this morning.  Today it has been all about cowboys and that hat my folks gave him.  And those boots.  I swanee, they are a mess.  Yes, that’s a hole almost worn through you see there.  But he loves them.

So we got into a conversation about bandanas yesterday.  Last night he found one and asked to have it tied around his head ninja style.  He was quite the sight, darting around “like a ninja.” Seriously, were there steroids in that antibiotic?  This morning he switched up styles and went cowboy on me.

“Mama, Cap carried a bandana didn’t he?” he asked, thinking about my Daddy.

“Yes, buddy he did.  All the time.”

“Well I want to carry one too.”  So then he tried to fold and cram that big bandana you see around his neck into his pocket.  Yeah, that didn’t go so well.  He got frustrated.

“This one is just too big to fit in my pocket, Mama.”

“Well maybe I can do something about it, bud.”

So I went to pull out the sewing machine that didn’t make an appearance last week for Prom Night, and I found a “fat quarter” with cars on it.  I figured if I cut it in fourths it would be about the right size for him to fold and put in his pocket.

As I cut and ironed, I thought about Daddy’s bandanas.  He got a new set every year for Christmas from my great Aunt Hattie.  It was a great gift because he did use them every day.  Except for that brief time in the late 70’s when he wore it around his head Willie Nelson style, he carried one in his back pocket. Every morning as he got dressed in his standard short-sleeved button down shirt and jeans, he tucked a clean bandana–usually red but sometimes blue–into his pocket.  He used it for everything from little one’s noses to cleaning little hands when they were playing outside.  It was a part of who he was.

When we were gathered with family and friends at the house before his graveside service, my sister came out from Mama and Daddy’s bedroom with a small stack of them.  “Here,” she said, “you might need this.”  One of my cousins took one in her hand and smiled through her tears.  “He always carried one.  Thank you.”  Yes, it was something of a trademark of his.  The bandana in the back pocket and a pocket knife, a pocket watch, and a little magnifier in his front pocket.

So it tickles me to see my little guy who adored Daddy take such an interest in carrying one.  Will I make you a special one bud?  You bet I will.  The car fabric was appropriate, as that was his thing with Daddy.  They both loved cars.  Daddy had nicknamed him Cooter, after the mechanic from the Dukes of Hazzard.  They went from playing with Matchbox cars on the floor before Daddy got sick to Cooter driving them around the hospital bed rails where Daddy was in the living room.  They had the same conversation every time.  “Cap, is this a FAST car?”  And based on engine power, make and model, the speed would be assessed.  Each time, I would ask, “Daddy is that bothering you?”  He always answered no, as my little fella drove that car around and around the bed.

When Cooter was old enough to talk, he would always stop at the Matchbox display in whatever store we were in (did you know that the GROCERY stores sell these things?), and ask to get this one or that one for Cap.  Well, since you’re going to share…..yeah, not always, but I’d usually give in.  We were at the grocery store last week and he stood looking at the cars.  He sighed, “If Cap were still alive I’d get this one for him.”  Ummm, well, yes, it came home with us.  How could it not?

After the ironing and stitching I presented him with the final product.

The fourth one is already in his pocket.

The fourth one is already in his pocket.

His little eyes lit up, and he grabbed one and put it in his pocket.

“Mama, can I use it to wipe my nose?”
“You sure can.”

“You know what, if someone hears me sneeze and they say, ‘Oh do you want a tissue?’ I will pull this out of my pocket and say, ‘No, I’ve got my bandana.'”  Oh that smile.  What else you want baby?

Tonight I’m thankful for a little boy who has turned my world upside down.  Thanks to him I find Star Wars action figures and cars in my purse or sweater pocket on a regular basis.  My sister had the forethought to have some of Daddy’s old bandanas stitched up as woobies (something you hold to bring comfort), and I give thanks for her gift and my woobie.   I’m thankful for my day being interruptible so I could go down memory lane and help a little guy honor his grandfather he loves so much.  And most of all, I am thankful for the example my Daddy set of what a true gentleman is like, and that my little guy is remembering those things.  Now I’m off to hide the pocketknife of Daddy’s he’ll get one day.  So not ready for that!

Prom Night

My girl.  Her Junior/Senior.  No, really, it’s her first and last prom.  It’s a long story but this is her junior and senior year, so this is it.  THE PROM.

She hemmed and hawed as we do about whether she would go or not.  In the end, she wrote her own check and bought her ticket.  Let me just tell you this is HUGE.  I am so proud of her.  She was intent on going and having a great time.  With friends.  I love that.  I didn’t have her courage or grace when I was her age.  The jury is still out on whether I have as much as she does now.

So we went shopping.  In the end she chose a beautiful dress that was just perfect.  From the GW Boutique.  I’m telling you, we love shopping there and can get the best bargains ever.  I was proud of her choosing to shop there and then so thrilled that she found THE DRESS.  (Aub, are you saying yes to the dress?  Why yes, yes I am.)

THE prom dress.....Take 1

THE prom dress…..Take 1

She then planned out her shoes, found them at a different location of the GW Boutique.  Yesterday she got some inexpensive stuff to do her nails and today she did them herself.  I am telling you, this girl can make a party out of nothing.  She just has that gift.

This afternoon she visited our sweet neighbor friend and talented hair stylist, and she got her hair did.  It was beautiful.  So we had all the puzzle pieces together, time to put them in place.  She started getting dressed and came to me to help her zip up.  Oh y’all.  I just about cry when I think back on it. Just a few hours ago.  My girl.  Beautiful.  I tried to zip but I didn’t have my hands in the right place.  So yeah.  This happened today.

This zipper is broke.....and so was my heart.

This zipper is broke…..and so was my heart.

I just pulled wrong and too hard.  I tried y’all.  Really I did.  We got out the needle nose pliers and I opened up the zipper to slide the other side back in.  Oh what a mess.  My heart sank as each minute ticked by.  She was about to miss her prom.  Because I.  Messed.  Up.  If I had been my Granny or my Aunt or my cousin even, I would have ripped that zipper out, HAD the right one here to replace it, and stitched it back in, and she still would have been on time.  Ahem.  No.  I heard my girl say, “It’s okay.  I just won’t go.  It will be all right.”

Not.  On.  My. Watch.

I love this child.  I try not to spoil her.  But I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if I’m going to let her miss her prom, after she made the decision to go and got her outfit together with such a good attitude and open heart.

I started barking orders.  Rare for me.  (Never mind, I can’t even type that with a straight face.)  So I said, “Get your dress shoes, take your boots just in case, throw on clothes, we’re going to a store, and this is GOING TO HAPPEN.”

And you know what?  It did.

We had a twenty minute ride to the closest store that might possibly maybe have a dress in stock.  She had called them, and we were hopeful.  In the meantime she was texting our other dear and treasured neighbor friend who was pulling dresses from her closet and texting pictures in case the shopping trip was for naught.  Have I mentioned I have great folks all around me?  Love my neighbors.  Yeah, these folks make that an easy commandment to follow.

We laughed as we made a game plan for our dash-in-try-on-buy-and-dash-out mission.  Failure was not an option.  Despite the rain, she kept her cool and her hair in place.  We walked in and saw a beautiful selection of dresses right away.  My eyes went to the chartreuse immediately (yeah, it’s kinda my thing) and Aub’s went to a cute black and white number with BLING. (And she can pull off some bling!)  She did indulge me and try on the chartreuse.  She thought she looked eight years old.  I thought she looked like Tinkerbell, and it was very cute.  But the black and white one…..her eyes lit up.  The price was right, and the pashmina wrap was on sale (needed–the rain had dropped the temp to 55 already!) and there was a cute pair of earrings to match.  And with that we were at checkout right on time.  We asked the cashier for a pair of scissors to snip the tags off.  (Remember my broken filter? Yeah, I told her about the zipper.)  “Oh when is your Prom?” she asked.   I checked the time.  “Ummm, now.”  Sweet young woman.  Headed to the same college as Aub next year–for nursing school.  She’ll make it.  I saw it in her eyes.

Aub changed in the car–avert your eyes people.  She kept it decent, and we were on our way.  She was only fashionably late, thank goodness.  And all was well.  I am so proud of her for turning her back on a bit of a rough start and setting off for an evening of fun with friends.  I love this girl.

My girl, turning her back on the past, and headed for the future.  You go girl!

My girl, turning her back on the past, and headed for the future. You go girl!

After seeing her off, I called my cousin.  I shared with him the evening’s events.  I told him how bad I had felt about not being able to fix the zipper.  “Eh, it’s good to know what you can and can’t do.”  And he is right.  I could have tried.  But many broken relationships and a month later, Aub might have had some semblance of a dress left.  When it comes to stitching and sewing up something that delicate when it’s that important with serious time constraints…..”ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Tonight I am thankful for a girl who dreams big, who is strong and wise and beautiful inside and out.  I am thankful that we were able to go to a store and get a backup dress.  I am thankful for our conversation and laughter and meeting a new person and hearing her story.  I am thankful for kind and gracious neighbors who are a part of the village helping me raise my children.  I am very thankful for great hair spray that withstands major humidity and many dress changes and tremendous stress.  Finally I’m thankful for the words of wisdom from my cousin–trying to make myself into something or someone I’m not…..yeah, FOR SURE ain’t nobody got time for that.

And just for fun, and with much appreciation, the original “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”