When Masana was five years old, she like many other kids her age began her arduous journey in elementary school. Her first day of kindergarten was rife with the normal jittery emotions one would experience on such a momentous occasion, but I was doubly worried about her because she was extremely shy. And the way she expressed her shyness wasn't your typical hide-behind-your-mother's-skirt deal. Masana's type of shyness manifested in belligerent behavior, which made it was difficult for her to participate in groups and make friends. So when I brought her to her kindergarten classroom, I was armed with a succinct description of how the day might unfold and my telephone number(s) boldly written on a sticky note. And as I let go of her sweaty little hand, I rediscovered my Catholic roots and said a few Hail Marys in my head.
Masana's kindergarten year was not easy and as expected she did not make many friends. I wanted to help her, so I started crafting with any of the kids that were brave enough to have a play date. She became less shy and had more friends come over for crafting play dates. And out of these crafting play dates grew the little crafting girl club that became known as the Crafty Girls--though in my head I always called it Masana's Crafty Girls.
Why do I mention Masana and her Crafty Girls? Because without them Walter Winslow would not exist. I made Walter as an example of a simple sewing craft project, which was not very smart on my part since many of the girls were only 7 years old at the time. I quickly learned that not all 7 year old girls liked to sew. But I digress...
Walter didn't have a name at first. But then he was having all sorts of adventures, making friends with the stuffed animal coterie in my home. I began bringing him places and taking pictures of him. My children and I gave him personality traits, decided what foods he was allergic to, what kind of music he liked. And then one day I thought it would be fun to open a Facebook account for him. He was Walter Winslow from that point on.
Unfortunately, Walter fell out of favor with my kids about three years ago. No, he didn't do anything salacious to merit his decline in popularity. I chalk it up to the fads kids in general will go through. But as I was preparing for our month-long beach vacation earlier this summer, I opened up a closet and found Walter in a long-forgotten canvas bag. And thus began our Walter Winslow renaissance.
To get Walter to the beach in style, I made him a sock monkey size trailer out of juice cartons, silver chrome duct tape, tin cans, bottle caps, wire thread, paper towel roll, and a wooden dowel. Here are some photos of its construction.
Walter has been sleeping on the beach and loving life. I've been posting pics on my Facebook page if you want to keep up with his adventures, and his FB profile has been resuscitated. You can friend him if you'd like!
Walter Winslow has returned. Let's hope he stays for a while.