Now that I spend so many hours a day (and night) sitting around feeding SHB, I've had lots of time to read random articles on my phone (I would rather read actual books, but my local library has an abundance of giant hardbacks, and reading in the dark in the middle of the night doesn't work so well anyway), and I've been loving NPR's series on the secret lives of teachers. When I first got into sewing and costume-making, we had just moved to TCOCC and I was taking a year off of teaching, so those two parts of my life didn't intersect. When I started teaching again, at first I tried keeping those two parts of my life separate. Then I became friends with some of them on Facebook, got an Instagram account, students started following me, which led them to my blog here, and suddenly it became known that I made not only my own clothes (which they already knew about), but crazy costumes as well. Finally, I decided to just out with it and showed up to school last Halloween dressed as a firebender for our fiery hand demo. It was a little weird, because some of my costumes, while not NSFW, still show more skin than I would show at work, of course, but generally I don't mind my students knowing about this part of my life because I think it makes me seem cooler...um, I mean it helps them realize that teachers have a life outside of teaching.
A couple of weeks ago, the highlight of my short costuming career (can it be called a career if I don't make any money from it and only do it part time?) occurred. Lee Pace, the actor who plays Thranduil, tweeted my wacky cosplay from last year:
When a cosplay friend alerted me to this, I was in shock for a good while (Is that the real Lee Pace, and not just a fan account? Hmmm, Richard Armitage/Thorin replied, I guess it's real), then I was excited (The. Real. Thranduil. Saw my cosplay of him. And liked it enough to tweet it. I am, however briefly, Internet famous!!!), and then to my surprise, I got slightly depressed.
The last two months with SHB have been a learning experience, and there have been moments of joy, but there have also been a lot (dare I say more) of moments of frustration: why won't he stop crying, why won't he sleep for more than thirty minutes, why does he have to be held all day? I was expecting to be able to do my own thing during those legendary 1.5-2 hour naps that babies supposedly take, but it seems like they're just that -- legendary. And not in a Barney Stinson way, unless you count the part where I'm waiting for it to happen. It's been hard not to compare last year, when I put together a full-blown costume what felt like every two weeks, and got to inspire and teach students (who are capable of expressing their wants with real words!), to this year, when I didn't even get to dress up for Halloween, arguably a costumer's favorite holiday, and have only sewn some Christmas stockings and a couple of tops and bibs for SHB. Like I lamented to Mr. Cation, I feel like my days of doing cool things are over, and I'm just this boring zombie-type person who doesn't get dressed or out of the house most days, whose only function is to produce milk, only to have it all just spit up back over me. Sometimes I look back at my old blog posts, just to remind myself that I used to do things.
When that mournful feeling seizes me particularly hard, I have to remind myself that this is a passing phase, and one day I'll do cool things again. SHB will get bigger and more independent (and sleep better) and I'll have time to sew for myself again, and one day he'll see my costuming pictures and realize that Mommy has a secret life outside of mothering.
In the meantime, I've been slowly, ever so slowly, pulling together a costume for the last Hobbit movie, Battle of the Five Armies. I don't even know if I'll get to see it at the midnight showing, much less dress up for it in as grand of a costume as I'm envisioning, but I think I need to at least make the costume, just for my own pleasure.