My youngest fella is the type to see or hear something and become instantly inspired. When we watch a movie or read a book, he’ll race away at the very end and come back a little later with a whole hand designed lego array of the characters. So when we recently saw our friend’s daughter in a play, as a pirate, I was not surprised he ran indoors just after he popped down from his car seat and shouted behind him, “Mom, where’s my pirate jacket?” He wore it that whole summer evening. I was shocked he didn’t sweat profusely as it’s a fleece lined wool coat!
He especially paid attention to the embroidered map. That evening he asked, “Mom, could you make me another map, one that I can take down to the swamp?” When I agreed, he didn’t delay. As he sat down at the kitchen table that evening, drawing out his master plan, his enthusiasm encouraged his brother to join in.
I cut the wool approximately the same size as the first pirate jacket’s map. I then freehand stitched their maps. My older son drew our house, building (complete with his John Deere tractor), and our little backyard spring.
My younger son had a more linear approach, but a big improvement of his previous orchard map from two years ago. He’s been following the spring into the woods with his friend lately. According to him, they first come upon water, then a thorn tree, more water, a cyclops, vines, and mountains. I love to watch them run up the hill and hear their stories about the spooky man’s boot prints they’ve seen in the woods! I also adored his paper map spelling “ha ha ha” as “ah ah ah.”
When their maps were all stitched in, I cut a back the same size. I sandwiched a knit loop between the layers as I stitched the back onto the front. This is so they could use a carabiner clip to hold it onto their pants loops or just loop it onto their wrists. Our youngest child is plagued with the ability to lose things instantaneously. I hope the loop will help.
These little treasure maps may be a snapshot of a place to them, but they are a snapshot of a place in time to me.