A couple of years ago a friend sent me a link to SouleMama’s post on the Winter Solstice pajamas she makes for her family every year. It was an eye-opening moment, this discovery of both the blog and the tradition. It was a revelation to find another family making an effort to celebrate the seasons. It’s important to me that my children have a sense of the cycle of the year, of how the world changes around them as the year passes by, and to have traditions through which they can take notice of these changes. At that moment, I vowed to put this tradition into practice for my own family. But why stop at the solstice? I decided that if making Winter Solstice pajamas for the kids each year was a good idea, making pajamas for the dawn of each season was an even better one.
Of course I did.
I have since made one matching pair of seasonal pajama pants for the kids. Last fall. I had found a lovely nighttime owl print while on vacation in Maine at the end of the summer and I couldn’t let the fall begin without making them into a couple of cute pairs of pajama pants for my boys. And here we are at the start of fall again and again I have vowed to give the tradition another try. Yes, the leaves are turning and falling from the trees, the weather is growing colder, and in so many ways this seems to be a season of death, of the fading life of summer. But the crisp air, the moist, cedar smells of the outdoors, the aroma of warm soup on the stove, and those beautiful colors, not the candy colors of summer, but the browns, deep reds, oranges, and yellows that suggest a kind of seasonal maturity and trigger in me an urge to slow down and reflect all make this season a perfect time to resolve to start again, to make a new beginning. Perhaps it’s a holdover from my grade school days, but I always find myself making resolutions in the fall. And giving the seasonal pajama tradition another go is among them this year.
For this season’s pants, I chose a cute retro mushroom pattern I’d been eying for months and finally had an excuse to buy. I re-sized a simple mushroom coloring page and used it as a template for a basic design to iron and sew onto two plain t-shirts in coordinating fabrics. Yes, I stayed up way too late to get them done by the equinox, and yes, there are a few little imperfections that only I will notice, but all in all I’m quite happy with the results and the kids love them, which is to say that Quinn did not immediately try to take them off and Xavier accepted them with a gushing display of so many things he’s heard and observed grown ups say and do:
Xavier: Oh, Mommy, I love it!
Me: Do you know what that is, honey?
Me: They’re pajamas. Mommy made them for you and Quinn to celebrate the beginning of fall.
Xavier: I love them! I love mushrooms. Did you know that I love mushrooms, Mommy?
Me: No, honey, I didn’t know that.
Xavier: Yeah. I love them. I saw a mushroom one time. Did you know that, Mommy?
Me: Yes, we’ve seen mushrooms together.
Xavier: Yeah. And Quinn’s look just like mine! Can I put them on right now, Mommy?
Me: Of course.
I have just a couple of tips if you’d like to do something like this. First, it might be worth it to purchase a basic pattern. This is the second time I’ve used the method of using pants that fit the boys now to make a pattern for new pants and, like last time, I struggled over it longer than I’d like. Also, it’s worth it to make the pants a bit long and use wide hems (mine are two inches wide). That way, you can fold them up to start if need be and unfold them when the kiddos get bigger. Xavier is still wearing last fall’s pants because I used exactly that technique. Kids tend to grow up more than they grow out at this age, so the fit in the waist seems to work for a good while. This year the length of Xavier’s pants turned out to be just right and Quinn’s are turned up for now (which generally looks better than it does in the photo above, I promise, but the boys were rather…er…restless during their photo shoot).
Despite the ants in their pants (their dad had just arrived home and they were eager to start movie night), the boys did oblige me by sitting still for a couple of photos before
descending into chaos breaking in their new pajamas.