Stitch likes the Sparkle. His only complaint about the new skating costume is that it isn't sparkly enough. There's a solid logic behind this: When he was little and I'd be sitting around making jewelry with all those pretty, sparkly beads, he'd make sad eyes and ask why I wouldn't make anything for him. No bracelets, no necklaces, no earrings. None of that is for boys.
Well, now he's skating, he's watched skating, and he knows that on the ice, it's perfectly acceptable and expected to have some sparkle. So, here's me, a Raccoon in a former life, now making clothing for a figure skater who keeps asking for more. It's a serious issue for me to tone it down, really.
Friday he asked for a practice shirt with "50% sparkly." Okay, I can do that, and I'd been looking for an excuse to play with metallic thread on spandex for awhile. (It's basically tinsel on a spool. Great to look at but hell on tension adjustments.)
"What color do you want?"
"Red," he says. "So people can see me."
Okay, done. I walked over to the fabric store, had a great chat with the great Fab Guy who works there, and scored some of the brightest red stuff I could find. I measured out the next size up shirt, and off I went. I played with metallic accents on the front and sleeves. I tried some embroidery stitching on a scrap piece, but the metallic just didn't want to play. (I'll try again using a backing of interfacing later.)
As I was sewing, though, the thought hit me. He already catches some minor flak from the snobby little girls out there for being so outlandish. The Hockey boys do come up and tease him a little before they realize he can skate them into oblivion and then they leave him alone. (He literally runs away on the ice and they don't follow.) Just the previous evening, a roving troupe of miniature dicks were teasing every newcomer in the place, "You can't skate! Your skating is crappy!" Some poor girl was in tears as they laughed and skated off. Assholes.
Perhaps putting him in a fire engine red sparkle shirt isn't the best idea in the world. Maybe I'd be opening him up for a whole new dimension of teasing.
Wait. What am I thinking? Why am I considering of shutting this down? No one looks twice when a little girl is out at public skate in a sparkly skating dress. I've even seen a full-on Snow White Halloween costume in July. Why can't a Boy do it?
Stitch used to take teasing very personally. He'd really consider changing facets of himself if his schoolmates teased him about them. I sat him down and explained things. "Stitch, if Classmate doesn't like your Nori Roll lunch, that's his problem. A big part of life is learning to determine Your Problem versus Their Problem. If it's Your Problem, then sure, change things that don't work. But if it's Their Problem, forget it. Got it?"
"I think so."
"If you're in doubt, you can ask me. I'll help you figure things out."
Here I was, some yards deep in sequins, red tinsel and fire engine spandex, ready to abort everything because of what amounted to Someone Else's Problem.
If Stitch wants to do public skate in Glitter, then let him skate in Glitter. If Snotty Girls want to tease, then I'll be happy to point out the fact that they're in last year's Spring Show outfit. If Hockey Boys want to harass, then let's ask ourselves who skates in full hip padding and who doesn't. (There's one in particular who tries to imitate Stitch's spins in hockey skates, and that would be quite ironic if he teased Stitch anyway.) Hockey Dads? How awesome would it be to do a full body check, after all? Momma Bear can get up speed, but she sure as hell can't stop too fast. If people are too wrapped up in what Stitch is wearing rather than how good he can skate, then they're at the rink for the wrong reasons. If someone wants to question/doubt/examine or forecast the sexuality of a seven year old, then they're perverted. That's a big Their Problem.
I finished the shirt, minus the sequins due to technical issues but I promised we could affix them later. He wore it all day, even to the grocery store, and then to public skate. Excited as he might have been to have a sparkle practice shirt, the rink was as cold as ever and he kept the jacket on most of the time. The one time he took it off and did some "fancy skating" for me, no one noticed or said anything that I heard. He then put the jacket back on.
Now he wants me to make him a sparkly jacket. Hey, I'm a solid fan of black/white crystal combos, and that jacket we have now is going to be outgrown eventually.