Nearly every time she said those words, my heart sank. My mother makes beautiful clothing. Here are some samples:
This vest I'm wearing...
The shorts both boys are wearing...
And these pajamas.
The clothes are always beautiful. They are almost never on time.
"It's real home economics," my mother told my sister and I growing up.
It wasn't economical, we contended to ourselves, unless you actually made what you planned!
I'm not sure how old my cousin's were when they finally got their Christmas stockings. I don't think any of them were ready that first Christmas (although, in Mom's defense, three of my cousins were born in October and November, and that didn't leave her much time). When I was in elementary school, my sister and I found butterfly fabric Mom had plan to use for PJs when we were in preschool. I think she ended up making something for our dolls since we had grown past the size when that little bit of fabric would have covered us. True, Mom did occasionally pull out amazing feats of sewing, and both my sister and I made our own clothes in junior high and high school. But probably more than half of what was planned stayed in the fabric bag. The closest thing to not getting any Christmas present was getting one that was going to be made for you. When it would be finished was never clear.
So when Mom promised an advent calendar for the boys, I didn't hold my breath. I should have breathed easy. Mom not only produced this calendar...
...she also mailed it to Korea in time for us to hang it up and for Santa to leave a daily treat for two good little boys.
The practical side of me still cringes a bit when Mom promises to sew something for us, but the fantastical side remembers the vest, years of Halloween costumes, charmeuse skirts, and, yes, advent calendars. And that side of me starts dreaming.