Tag Archives: mothers of boys

Dresses and Dreams

Ladies, as a little girl did you ever dream of your wedding dress? 

Beane & Co Clara from Nice and Neutral Collection

Beane & Company Clara

My dream wedding dress was updated with every trend. I wanted a fur collar. Make that a 25-foot train like Princess Diana’s. Maybe fingerless lace gloves. White granny boots. A tiara.

My actual wedding was 17 years ago, and I find myself in an odd place now. As a MOB (mother of boy), it’s unlikely I’ll have a say in wedding dresses, much less fingerless lace gloves. There will be no trips with the bride to say yes to the dress, just a tinge of pain knowing I’ll never get to plan, er, help plan a wedding again.

Enter Pinterest. I’m like a sweet tooth set loose in a candy store with no money to buy the goods. So I started a board called “My Imaginary Pinterest Wedding Even Though I’m Already Married.” It eases my craving the same way my “Short Cuts” board consoles the occasional impulse for a pixie haircut.

It may look odd (the board, not the haircut). When a friend saw me pinning wedding dresses, she quipped, “Are you renewing your vows or something?”

Beane & Co Zelda and Leo Gatsby Collection

Beane & Company Zelda and Leo

Laugh all you want, sister. Your beautiful daughter practically guarantees you a subscription to Brides.

Instead of assembling wedding accoutrements on Pinterest where friends question your sanity, what if you could make them your business? What if you could design bridal regalia to your heart’s desire and your clients’ satisfaction?

My friend Jenna Lang does exactly that. Beane & Company, her Los Angeles studio, has created custom special occasion clothing for children since 2007.

Imagine the most darling flower girls and ring bearers EVER.

Beane & Co Grace from Gatsby Collection

Beane & Company Grace

“What makes us unique is that everything you purchase is made to order. Nothing is massed produced,” says Jenna.

“Our niche is that we can customize anything you see pictured in any color or fabric. It generally starts with an inquiry that goes something like this: ‘I love this dress. Can we do it in pink instead of white?’ Our answer is always ‘Yes!'”

Jenna credits her mother, a seamstress, with inspiring her appreciation for custom clothing. Jenna was a professional dancer and worked for many years designing theatre costumes. Her passion for design blossomed into a business with the births of her own children.

“I wanted my daughter to have a chest of beautiful keepsake clothing just like my mother had for me. The dresses I made began to pile up—way too many clothes for her to wear! So my business began as a natural progression of my love for all things theatrical married to my love for vintage children’s clothing. My daughter, and now my son, are still the inspiration for everything I do.”

Beane & Co Charlie from Gatsby Collection

Beane & Company Charlie

Custom is key in the wedding industry. “A bride can send us a swatch of the colors she’s using in her wedding and we can match it to make something that fits perfectly,” says Jenna. “The best part is there are no add-ons or upcharge for color or design changes. The price listed is the price you pay, regardless of the changes made.”

Beane & Co Ella from Something Blue Collection

Beane & Company Ella

What does Jenna love most about her work? “The thing I love most about what I do is the creative process,” she says. “There’s nothing like seeing a piece of fabric or a sketch on paper and making it come to life. I’m always amazed at what and where I find things that spark an idea. If you can imagine it, or you want us to imagine it—we can make it!” 

I like her passion. It’s what dresses and dreams are made of. 

Some of Beane & Company’s enchanting designs are featured in this post with photography by Katie Duda of Claire Alyse Photography. See more at Beane & Company, on Facebook, on Twitter @beaneandcompany, or contact Jenna (at) BeaneandCo (dot) com.

Beane & Co Lizzy from Something Beane

Beane & Company Lizzy

You have captured my heart,
my treasure, my bride.
You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes,
with a single jewel of your necklace. Song of Solomon 4:9 NLT

Marry Me by Train.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
So what’s your imaginary wedding dress look like?

Disclosure: I’m not being compensated to promote Beane & Company or Claire Alyse Photography in this post. 

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Reader’s Choice ’12: The MOB Confronts Cattiness Against Boys

Call Ariel K. Price a bookworm, and she’ll consider it a compliment.

Ariel K. Price

Ariel K. Price

Ariel is an editor, writer, and reader. Her passion for words is her life’s work.

She’s also a feminist. Here’s an excerpt from her comment when she first read the post she selected for Reader’s Choice:

“This is why so many men don’t take feminism seriously: they just see a bunch of angry women who want to hurt them. As a feminist, I know it is in my best interests to show love and graciousness to men, while also fighting for my equal treatment and respect.”

Exactly. Ariel’s Reader’s Choice is:

The MOB Confronts Cattiness Against Boys 

my skills make boys run

click to read The MOB Confronts Cattiness Against Boys

readers choice

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The MOB Confronts Cattiness Against Boys

meangirlstshirt

my skills make boys run

Walking through Target when a t-shirt catches my eye in the girls’ department.

Excuse me?

I’m a proud member of the MOB (Mothers Of Boys). I don’t see a shirt in the boys’ department reading, “My Skills Make Girls Run.” That would never be tolerated. As a grown-up girl, I’d be unhappy if it were.

Then there’s the sign I saw in Kirkland’s.

Where’s the one reading “Boys Rule: Your IQ Test Has Come Back Negative?” Kirkland’s would be boycotted post-haste if that sign ever made it to the shelves.

chicks rule sorry

sorry. your IQ test has come back negative

The battles for women’s suffrage, educational equality, and Title IX were difficult. Necessary. Admirable.

Today women earn only 77 cents per dollar earned by men working the same jobs. Women hold only 17 percent of the seats in Congress. Women are victimized by domestic violence . Poverty rates are highest for families lead by single women. There’s still work to be done.

Is this how we want to do it? By using little girls to demean little boys?

The notion that it’s acceptable to degrade boys isn’t new. I love the old Schoolhouse Rock songs and often feature them in my posts. My seven-year-old son and I can sing the lyrics to nearly all of them.

But there’s a line in Unpack Your Adjectives that makes me want to crawl under the table. My heart breaks as my son laughs along, unaware of the politically-loaded, mean-girl, angry-woman sentiment behind it:

“Girls who are tall can get taller,
Boys who are small can get smaller,
Till one is the tallest
And the other’s the smallest of all.”

This is 2012, not 1950, 1969, 1975 when Unpack Your Adjectives first aired, or Thelma and Louise’s 1991. The vitriol is overkill.

Women pursue education. They earn more advanced college degrees and bachelor’s degrees than men.

Women join the workforce. More than 70 percent of all mothers with children younger than age 18 work outside the home or are looking for work outside the home.

Women hold power in the voting booth. In the 2008 presidential election, about 66 percent of women voted compared to 62 percent of men; that’s 70.4 million women compared to 60.7 million men.

Girls play sports. A 2008 report from the Women’s Sports Foundation found 69 percent of girls participate in organized and team sports. That’s nearly equal with the 75 percent of boys who participate.

Sisters, hear me when I say I’m indebted to you. Now can we please celebrate the partial victories, keep on keeping on, and leave our kids out of the combat?

chicks rule. you're right. you're not worthy

you’re right. you’re not worthy

Think about what we’re communicating to our daughters. What we’re allowing to happen to our sons. Will this attitude ameliorate animosity or deepen it? Solve inequality or perpetuate it?

Teach respect. Work for equality. Rise above the hurt and the hate. Burn the cattiness with all the gusto once used to burn the bras.

My son isn’t responsible for your pain. No amount of discrimination justifies using our children as pawns in an ongoing, grown-up fight.

And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:16 NIV

Sweet Child O’ Mine by Sheryl Crow.

This is just my opinion. What do you think?

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Poolside with the MOB (Mothers of Boys)

pool ladder

My seven-year-old son loves the water. Swim club seemed like the perfect extracurricular activity.

It was all good until his lesson was over and it was time to change into dry clothes.

He doesn’t want to go into the women’s locker room. He refuses to change in the bleachers while I hold up a towel.

No. He insists on going into the men’s locker room. Alone.

As every ounce of Momma Bear in me protests, I let him go all by himself.

“I’ll wait for you here by the door,” I say. He disappears into the abyss.

I wait. And wait. And wait.

Another pair of MOBs are standing nearby watching their sons’ swimming lessons. They look at me and nod.

“Mine doesn’t even have to change his clothes,” says the first. “He only has to put on his sweatpants over his swimsuit. And it still takes him a half an hour!”

“Well, mine came out telling me about all the friends he made in the locker room,”  said the other. “I told him we don’t make friends in the locker room. That was the end of that. Now he changes in the bleachers.”

Friends in the locker room? Oh, dear.

four feet deep

“Honey,” I crack open the door. “You okay in there?”

I wait. No answer. Dare I go in?

Then I hear it. The unmistakable sound of two dozen slippery sea lions smacking the pavement. The high school boys’ swim team has finished their laps, and they’re headed my way.

The rushing stream of soaking wet, teenage boys flows through the locker room door. Panic ensues.

I imagine shouting, “Cover yourselves! Mom on the floor! I’m coming in!”

The thought of seeing a bunch of naked teenage boys is as appealing to me at 41 as it was at 16. I stop short of my raid.

I pace around outside the locker room, scanning the club for a responsible adult male to help. Where are the instructors when I need them?

A clean-cut boy who looks to be about 15 emerges from the locker room wrapped in a towel. Boldly, I approach.

“Excuse me,” I say. He looks at me. Deer in headlights.

my cub

“My little boy’s in the locker room. Yeah, and he’s been in there a long time. Could you go in and check on him? I’d go in myself, but that might be awkward.”

“Okay,” he says.

Towel boy scampers into the locker room. I wait. And wait. And wait.

The door opens and out bounces my cub. Unaided. Unharmed. Happy as a clam. And barefoot.

Where, oh where, are his shoes?

Yep.

“Cover yourselves! Mom on the floor! I’m coming in!”

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised. Job 1:21 NIV

Bruce Springsteen, Cover Me.

Enjoy your weekend, everybody.
See you here next week!

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Moondance

October 2, 2011 at Eckert's

We interrupt this cliff-hanger for a very important birthday.

I have always fallen in love in the fall.

The kindest boy I dated in high school. My nicest beau in college. The most amazing man I married when I was 25.

I fell for them all in the fall.

It should come as no surprise then that the sweetest one, my little boy, was born in October.

Funny, creative, sharp, sensitive, kind, energetic. He is a gift to his father and me.

Happy Birthday, pumpkin pie. I love you every season.

Happy Birthday!

Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3 NLT

Time for a song that is quintessentially autumn. Time for a Moondance.

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