Patent in Play

Her favorite blue jeans sport a gaping hole across the right knee,  seam to seam. Hand-me-down from her brother and previously her neighbor, the Polos are faded comfortably to a soft speckled gray in some places, reminding us of tiny eggs in a bird’s nest. Together we ponder the first real bike ride, seeing her taut white knuckles on the handlebars, her back as straight as lightning, as she loops around the green — and doesn’t fall off. And the magical way she transforms gnarled trees into hefty snow forts or secret pirate ships. She tackles red pines and blossoming magnolias along the river’s promenade, blue denim protecting her sturdy legs.

We leave the hole alone through weekend rounds of hide-and-seek, soccer, and crazy golf, and at last decide on a patch, the first she ever sews. We select samples from spare fabrics used in a classroom diorama project. Red hibiscus and purple petrea sprawl over dark green foliage, and a wisp of yellow canary adds flare. We trim or tuck the frayed white threads and choose red for sewing. The needle is hard to push through the fabric, but the stitches are perfect, pleasing to the eye. Play and learning join, fasten, mend, decorate.

She steps into her jeans, pulling them quickly up to her hips. Copper rivets reinforcing the pockets, felt and cotton reinforcing the knee, the bright, now less air-conditioned Polos feel just that little bit different…  She worries if patched jeans can be worn to school on dress-down days, temporarily opts for dresses and skirts, and soon asks her teacher for advice. The answer is yes, especially for the upcoming trip to the county farm.

Referencing our recent café news display, Strauss & Jacob Patent Blue Jeans