When I was growing up, money was tight. We didn't have lots of new, stylish clothes. And it wasn't uncommon to have hand me downs from friends. When something got a hole in it, my mom would carefully figure out a way to patch it up. Cute little appliques were applied to cover holes or stains. This worked well when I was small. But as I got older, I began to notice that other kids didn't have butterfly patches on their knees. And I promised myself that when I had kids of my own, I would never patch their clothes. I would throw them out and buy them something new.
That mindset changed recently. Jack is at a stage in his boyhood where he is rough on his clothes. He likes to run, then drop to his knees and slide. He kneels outside on the gravel and plays in the rocks and dirt. He scoots around, falls, trips, skateboards, plays basketball, does all the things a healthy, growing boy should do...and should be ABLE to do. This behavior does have its consequences however. One of which is wearing through the knees of his pants far before he outgrows them. In the past month, holes have formed in 3 of his 4 pair of jeans. Jeans that are only a couple of months old, and still have lots of wear left in them. So, I asked Jack if he minded having patches on his knees. I even offered to buy some cute "boyish" fabric to patch them with. He didn't care. And he didn't want the fun fabric, just plain blue.
So today, I spent an hour patching his jeans. Three pair, with 5 holes between them. I didn't bother trying to make the patches into cute shapes. And honestly, I suddenly didn't care so much about what someone else might think seeing my son in patched up jeans. He'll outgrow them soon enough. And with each patch I sew, comes a reminder that he is a healthy, vibrant, growing boy. The patches are just the battle scars that prove it.