Fair Isle Sweaters and Growing Up

TFIO Photo: Patricia Saxton

TFIO Photo: Patricia Saxton

My second podcast recording with my mom, Claire, brings me back to the days as an insecure college freshman. My school was the ultimate in prep; a style that was unfamiliar to me. Here I was, having grown up trusting my sense of fashion, for the first time feeling unsure and looking to those around me to define my look. My first school break, I told my mom that I needed something called a Fair Isle Sweater and my darling mother treated me to not one or two, but several, and in different colors. By the end of my freshman year these lovely sweaters were gone from my wardrobe as I began to feel more comfortable in my own skin and see my style return (but still … how I wish I had at least of these sweaters with me now!!!). Most important, I was left with a feeling of love and gratitude for my mother that I will never forget for as long as I live.

Here is that conversation with Claire as we talk about Fair Isle Sweaters and growing up …


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3 thoughts on “Fair Isle Sweaters and Growing Up

  1. Your mother is so beautiful!I love the picture of the two of you. I hope you plan to frame it!

    Hmmmm….I am so torn about this one. I think usually when my kids come home and say, “every body has ______. I HAVE to have it” I say, “I don’t care what everyone else is doing. You be who YOU are…don’t follow the crowd because they are generally wrong…” BUT the way your mom handled it, seems to have really worked out for you in the long run. She did the perfect thing for you. It really makes me wonder…have I been too hard on my kids? Maybe I have cut a line of communication.

    I think they have learned to get around me by not saying, “everyone has one” to just buying it themselves (with their allowance) or throwing it in the cart when we go clothes shopping…I don’t know. Maybe I have been expecting/demanding that they find their own voices before they were strong enough…makes me wonder…

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments, as always, Kylie, and for the compliment. I will tell my mom what you said – it will make her day. First of all, do not be hard on yourself. As mothers, we are always using our best judgment as the moments happen; we can never know if it’s the right thing or not, but simply go by what our instincts tell us while being fair and loving to our kids. Often that means saying no. I think this story is unique because as a college freshman I was away from home for the first time, and far away (9 hours!), and the transition was intense and terrifying and traumatic for me. My mom knew that and she probably knew that I would grow out of this particular look quickly because she had known me for 17 years and understood that it was not my style. But, in this case, I needed to figure that out for myself. And she understood that too. You are a terrific mom and I think you would do the very same thing. You know when the difference is between a want and a need. xx Mel

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