Bounceback

One time I was listening to the radio (CBC, because I am some sort of dinosaur who still listens to the radio in my house) and I heard a piece (which I spent a long time searching for, trying to prove that it actually happened but maybe it didn’t) where a panel of really clever people were discussing the traits of super successful people, and they all agreed that resilience was absolutely the thing.

That’s the definition right there, and I realized that I’ve been talking about “resilience” without really using that word, when I teach classes where I talk about gauge.  I say that you can tell that a swatch is a good one – that you’ve got it right, when the work bounces back, when it isn’t easily deformed, and when it keeps it’s shape, even when you subject it to stress.  Things knit too loosely – it’s not just a gauge problem, it’s a quality problem… they don’t last as long, or hold up as well, and I realized for the 23476th time in my life that living and knitting are the same. I prize resilience (in knitting and living) very highly.  The ability to hold up, to soldier on… I’m not saying that you deny your feelings, or that you don’t deal with your sadness or challenges, but that you look them all square in the eye and think “Well hell, and I guess now I have to do Wednesday anyway” and then you do… even if you make a real mess of it. So much of being a good human is just showing up, I think.

I was thinking that this week… and thank you so much for all your kind words about Susan, it helps a lot. I feel like a generation is slipping past me, and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do about that – except for… and I recommend this technique very highly…

KNIT MONSTER PANTS

There was a moment two days ago where I thought about knitting, and I pulled out the big, fine gauge thing I’m working on, and all I could think was that I was so sad, and supposed to be so sad and that really I should be ironing black clothes, and then something came over me, and I thought that maybe could there be a moment where I didn’t reflect on my losses and metaphorically walk sadly on the beach in the mist,  and maybe HOLY CATS maybe I could just… I could knit Monster Pants (!!!) and in the moment I felt it,  I knew it was right. Behold.

Lo, it is the antidote to all sadness. It is the opposite of sad exits from the universe, it is a countermeasure, a remedy, proper medicine and a bloody reason to go on. (It was also fast and easy, which is never a problem.)

It is my grandson in Monster Pants, and it is pretty much the whole reason that there has been joy and light in my life for the last few days, and if you know me I am not even sorry that I texted you the picture of him wearing these, because they are the light and the joy and…

Seriously. Didn’t that just help your day? Don’t you feel better? Aren’t you jealous that Meg gets to look at that bummie all day? Of course you are, because you’re normal. Look at that and c’mon.  Resiliency, the ability to bounce back, to regain shape… elasticity.  I’m on it.

(Maybe he needs two pairs.)

219 thoughts on “Bounceback

  1. I am a therapist and have spoken about resilience for years with my clients. It is not the absence of sadness, trauma, grief, or anger but rather the ability to face it squarely in the eye and find ways to manage it and heal. So many things make that easier and more possible for some than others but, for certain, monster pants can help!

      • I was thinking the same thing! I’ll bet one could take an adult leggings pattern, do a little math, and make it so.

        On my voluptuousness-enhanced bum, I’m afraid it would look like Godzilla rising from Tokyo Bay whenever I stood up! On the other hand, I think that would just add to the happy, as I’m a big Godzilla fan.

  2. The monster butt pants brought a smile to my face. I hope this is the end of the sad things for you…. maybe make Elliot a pair in the next size up?

  3. Yup. In my world it’s θάρρος, tharros (THAH-ros) and encompasses the whole idea of resilience, guts, grit, mettle, heart, pluck…

    …because the Greeks have a word for it.
    …and you’ve got it.

    • I’ve often said that when there is a difficult concept you’re trying to put into words, look for the Greek word. There is (almost) a Greek word for it.

      • What is the word for when you fold up a pair of socks and turn one partially inside out to hold the pair? What is that called — the verb or the resulting noun? In English or in Greek? I figure this is a good place to ask.

          • that’s called “the way you do it” (because that’s how my mom did it — and she did it that way because her mom did…. and they all did it that way because it works!! that’s a line of women for you). (click or touch the pants it said 🙂

        • That’s ‘pairing’ socks. Turning them into a ball is ‘balling’, and putting two socks together without either pairing or balling them is ‘matching’.
          That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

      • And if the Greeks don’t, the Germans will. But it’ll probably be longer.
        If it weren’t for the fact that the wearer doesn’t get the best view, I’d be tempted to see if the monster pattern comes in my size…

    • Kali dynami! I’m not Greek, but I am Orthodox (and much prefer the Greek typikon/tradition). I feel like this Lenten greeting encompasses a lot, too. Good strength. Good struggle. Resilience.

      (And in case I don’t make it back to the comments before Pascha, Xristos Anesti!)

  4. Love the monster pants! Babies can cheer us up even in the midst of grief and babies in monster pants are even better.
    I’m so sorry you’ve had to experience so much loss this past year. A friend lost her mother and maternal aunt and uncle all within a year too.
    Hang in there, keep on knitting and remember your capacity for resilience.

  5. The monster pants may, indeed, be the solution to all problems great and small. One may even ask, does the pattern come in adult sizes? I’m wishing you and yours all the springy-back-nes of a well knit swatch. <3

  6. Seriously, now I have to go and knit Monster Pants, though since it will soon be summer, I need to figure out what size Ben will be by the fall. Those are so adorable, and you are right, staring at those will make anyone’s day better. And yes, not matter what happens, the best way to get through seems to be just to do and keep doing. Hugs!

  7. I’ve been stressed out today, and those Monster Pants definitely brought a smile to my face.

    And yes, you should knit another pair, in purples and reds.

    And resiliency is precisely the right word. You’ve got it down. You Got This.

  8. These monster pants have made my day. Today I needed resilience and unfortunately failed but tomorrow is another day. Because of these pants I will try and meet tomorrow head on.

    Oh yes, and one of these photos should be in the slide show at his wedding..just sayin,

  9. One pair of monster pants could never be enough. What if he pees them, and they have to be washed? He needs an entire rainbow of monster pants, and he needs them ASAP!

    On a more serious note, I’m so sorry you are dealing with so many losses or any losses. I wish I could fix it.

  10. Sometimes you’ve got to just plow on, and sometimes you’ve just got to knit monster pants! But, no, I’m not jealous that Meg gets to see that bum all day. Why? Because she’s the one chasing that bum now that the little stinker is self-propelled!

    (Glad you’re back. If monster pants helped, then knit monster pants for everyone. Use at least worsted weight for Joe’s.)

  11. The monster pants are freakishly adorable (as is the baby wearing them, but of course babies are freakishly adorable by definition)! My SIL is having twins this summer and I need to put those on the list. It’s too bad my boys are long past that stage.

    About resilience: yes. But for perfectionist, hard-on-self types like me, valuing resilience can feel burdensome in the depths of grief. I’ve had major setbacks in the last decade—spousal illness, disability, loss; moving forward as a single parent, caregiver, steward of someone else’s life—and have at times felt in despair because I *didn’t* feel resilient at all. Worse, people were constantly telling me how strong I was, when I felt like it was literally, physically killing me to go on. We need to be able to tell ourselves that it’s okay to be knocked back for a year. Or more. It’s in how you deal with it, for sure, but believe me, I tried every rest/work/therapy/peanut butter/meditation remedy I could think of, and nothing sped that along. Resilience is often recognized only in retrospect. And that is okay.

    • Yeah you! It is so true and what a blessing to realize the way through was to yield rather than use will power to press on; a far kinder approach. Sometimes we have to do a thing in a sad* kind of way in order to do it at all.

      * insert emotion or experience of the moment.

      PS I had to touch ‘sunglasses’ which is a great metaphor for ‘seeing’ from a new perspective!

  12. Resilience. Knowing I am can make myself a pair of monster pants so we can all match Elliot and his cute butt.

    Thanks for the smiles.

  13. You get to a certain age and yes that generation passing you by happens (there really is no escaping it). This is followed by crap!#*, we’re next. I try to age gracefully, it is not for sissies. I think those Monster pants were an excellent idea, laughter is the best medicine.

  14. I’m commenting without even finishing your post. I’m enthralled by it because for many years I have asked people their definition of health and not sick is not s definition. My definition of health is resilience and I think it’s a really good one.

    On your last post. First my profound sympathies for your loss. To get hammered repeatedly over a short time is brutally hard and I’m sorry you and your family have to go through it.

    You asked a question regarding what to call a cancer patient who has died. As someone who has danced with that demon for 42 years and five outbreaks I can tell you the answer is free. Susan is finally free.

    • Claire, I am sorry you have had to “dance with that demon”. And, wow, what a way with words you have.

      Thank you for “free”. I am supporting a mother whose child died (from cancer) recently, and when the time is right I may well share that concept.

      There is nothing you can’t learn about through knitting!

      I wish you well and much resilience. Thank you for both of those perspectives.

  15. Do you know if the Monster pants are sized for 4X because I could use a pair in my life…

    My sympathies for your life lately …

  16. I’m really struggling for resilience right now. I seem to lurch from minor disaster to minor disaster, never quite finding my feet. I guess this is just life with small children? Tomorrow I’ll try the monster pants strategy!

  17. Sorry about your Aunt. Yes the Monster pants made me smile – much needed after dealing with some things going on in my life. I’m trying for resilience, but sometimes the “springing back” is more like a long slog thru deep mud.

    I wonder – would a hoodie that looks like wild-won’t-be-tamed hair peeking out from a hat be too over the top with those pants?

  18. There is a quote I really like from Elizabeth Gilbert, which is, “The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong and they handled it. They handled it a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”

    You’re one of my superheroes, and I love the “knit monster pants” approach to handling so many hard losses in your life right now. Also I think both your mom and your Aunt Susan would laugh at the sight of that adorable bum in those Monster Pants 🙂

  19. I am so sorry for the loss of Susan. It is so hard to let go of those we love. I think you have that resilience thing right. And the monster pants are surely a plus! Precious grandson! I have two with another on the way. The new one surely needs those pants! Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  20. We just received word that my husband’s grandmother passed away this morning.

    I think, perhaps, my two-year-old son also needs monster pants.

    Thank you for the secret balm of the universe.

  21. I think he might need 3 pair…just in case…and a size or two larger for next winter…resilience is absolutely key to our health and survival. Much love is sent your way!

  22. Goodness, he is standing up already! What an advanced child.

    So sorry for your losses – these things never get easier but we do have to bounce back.

    ceci

  23. Thank you for the Monster Pants photos of Elliot! I had to send my beloved Blundstones to the bin, and it was sad. I know you understand about Blundstones, and every time I wore mine I knew your mum would disapprove. Alas the heels shed bits of themselves even sitting in my closet, and they became unwearable. Elliot and his pants gave me a much needed chuckle. 🙂 Poor Blundies…

  24. As soon as I saw the instagram, I knew I had to pop over to see if there was a monster pants post, as I knew there would he more Grammie pics posted.

    That bum. Adorable!

  25. Oh you are devious. I have been resisting knitting something for my grand-nephew because my record of finishing handknits for children is not good (their growth factor and my knitting speed do not correlate) and he lives in Arizona and who needs handknits in the desert? He is 2 months younger than Elliot, also an E-baby (Emory) and I just know he needs monster pants. Perhaps if I make a running start at this he can wear them next fall….

    • Excellent idea. My kids grow far faster than I knit, so I usually knit a season or two out. It works… most of the time.

  26. Fabulous! Thanks for the thoughts, insights, and monster pants! I agree, they would be great in adult sizes! Keep moving forward into the unknown-which apparently does actually include smiles.:)

  27. You have been demonstrating resilience for months but the monster pants are the best! Your grandson in them–even better. He is a lucky little guy!

  28. Those monster pants are adorable. I’ve decided my nephew needs a pair so I better see if I’ve got suitable yarn in my stash.

  29. He quite clearly needs another pair. But, what color? Red? Orange? Purple? You know, his Grammy is a prolific knitter. I think he needs one of each.

  30. Agree. Absolutely freaking great. And just think of all the smiles you caused by posting this. Smiles spreading out in ever larger rings …

    This isn’t 100% aligned with your thoughts though I think it’s close: A quote I saw on a piece of art that I just love is this :
    Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow.

    (Quote is by Mary Anne Radmacher)

  31. Right right right. We have go do our lives anyway.
    On that other note…I made a pair of monster pants for our grand daughter a couple of years ago…blue red and bright yellow with big white teeth. She toddled around the Canmore Nordic Centre and everyone smiled. I felt so gratified!

  32. Elliot, as usual, looks absolutely adorable! The monster pants have me smiling and it was such a good idea you had to knit them because you not only cheered yourself up but made the rest of us smile, too!

  33. Thank you. It has been somewhat of a week here, so the picture of that rear end in those pants is the much-needed highlight!
    Resilience is a goal!

  34. One foot in front of the other; even if we fall down now and then and decide to take a little rest on the floor, getting up and carrying on generally gets easier in time.

    I like the suggestion above of referring to a cancer patient who has died as being free; no fights, overcoming/winning or succumbing/losing to it. Life is a journey, not a battle.

    Lani
    (a listener and support of NPR/PRI, similar to CBC)

  35. Oh, those pants are the best!! Although a baby is just the best thing ever for getting over anything. How can you not feel joy looking at the little face?

    But your remark about a generation passing . . . I don’t know where you fall in the generations at your aunt Susan’s funeral, but the fact that I am pretty much “next to the cliff” really hit me hard when I went back to my cousin’s house after my mother’s sister’s funeral. There is only my mother’s generation between me and “the cliff” now, and there are precious few of them left among us. And yet the back yard was full of us . . . but my generation has children who have children who have little ones running around. It was a visual reminder that I’m not that young anymore, and much closer to the end than I am to the beginning. A sobering thought.

  36. Monster pants on an adorable crawling baby! To paraphrase the words of an old hymn “how can I keep from smiling?” You needed that, many of us needed that, too. I’m sorry for your losses. Thank you for the gift of your words.

  37. This is bloody brilliant. Yes, monster pants on baby butt – so cute. And such a great way to remind yourself that in the midst of sorrow, you still get to smile.

  38. I feel sad for you Steph, but after looking at that cute bum in the monster pants, I’m just smiling – smiling and everything is right in the world. Thank you so much for sharing your sadness and your delight.

  39. Those pants are amazing – and I feel the same when I look at my baby girl (13 months old) – that there is hope and light in the world. When she smiles, when she giggles, when she demands another book be read to her… it makes things feel better.
    I’m sorry for your loss – cancer sucks – death sucks – but thank you for sharing your thoughts. Thank you for letting us get to know you and your family through the Blog.

  40. Hi, Stephanie,

    Cute pants. Monster pants are the cure for the blues and for odd partial balls of yarn. So let’s all clear out our stashes and make monster pants for the littles! Worth a good laugh…
    When you wrote about dreaming of your mother, I thought , dreams of mother don’t need to be nightmares as I was falling asleep. My mother was seriously mentally ill all my life (started when PG with me) so my feelings were seriously conflicted when she died. Relief that she did not need to suffer this illness any more, guilt for feeling relief, etc. Many nightmares and 39 years later I decided to have a happy dream of my mother,
    So, sure enough, I did. It was 1963. I was a teen. We were walking down a busy street shopping, with bags on our arms. She was wearing her best coat (avocado green mohair and wool felted, boxy shape, chocolate brown mink collar) , Black velvet pillbox hat, cream gloves. All very proper. We came to a shop all chrome and glass and white tile, very futuristic. The sign on the front was Swedish, with that crossed O the Swedes use. We went in and it was a very high-end fishmonger. Cases full of ice with various kinds of fish and shellfish artfully arranged on the ice. High prices. They wore long white lab coats, black pants and shoes, white shirts and black ties, and they called us “madam” in that obsequious tone. Two of the fishmongers began fighting, yelling at each other in Swedish. Then they began throwing ice at each other. Then one jumped into a case and began throwing fish fillets at the other, who also climbed into a case and threw a very big squid the the first guy. It wrapped around his neck and slithered down under his white coat. He was so mad. His face was as red as a rooster comb. My mother was horrified, she was afraid she’d get fish on her “good” coat. It was like a Monty Python bit. I started laughing so hard I peed my pants. That woke me up, laughing and peeing. So. thank you for the funny dream with my mother. I still laugh when I think of it.

    Currently on the needles, the Downton Abby hat by Annie Cholewa in various colors. Great stashbuster. I guess that what everyone is getting for Christmas this year. I attach the folded up brim to the hat so it makes a cushy ear cover.
    Julie in San Diego

    • OMG, doubled over w/laughter! Thanks for sharing the funniest dream I’ve ever heard of!
      P.S.: where does one get the Monster Pants pattern? Two littles in my life should get those next Xmas.

  41. Wonderful monster pants! I think knitting and gauge are exactly the right analogy here. Although it’s very stressful but nothing like grief, I could not have gotten through my dissertation and phd without the analogy of knitting – if you think about a cable sweater as a whole, oh holy hell no human could do that, but you take it line by line, stitch by stitch, and look at that, you have a sweater, and it was actually kind of fun, and you have it for the rest of your life. Same with a phd. And, the idea you can pull back, or fix a stitch, or ask a person for help on fixing things (but you still have to do it in the end, they can only show you how), or set it aside for a minute, or frog the damn thing if it’s really not working…those can also be helpful to remember sometime. All love to you.

  42. I love monster pants! I have knit for my grandchildren, 5 under 5, and laughed while knitting! So glad you found some joy!

    I have dinner once per month with what started as a grief group and now is just a group of friends. A new attendee is also a knitter, it was the one year “anniversary” of the loss of her husband.
    I don’t know how the subject came up, however, we spoke about monster pants and I had to show her photos! My grands in Alaska put them on over their pants for snow shoveling, which pleases me no end!

  43. The pants are SUPER! But, most of all, doing things for others is the best medicine. Particularly for kids – they keep you in the moment and pull you forward. How can you stay sad when that little sponge is running around, wanting to soak up all the love, knowledge, and knitting you can give him!

  44. Between the matching hats for Elliot’s people at Christmas and the Monster pants, I think you’ve discovered what we always suspected…knitting is the cure for what ails you.

  45. They rock!!!
    I think we need them in adult sizes too!
    I could use a pair right now because the thought of embarrassing my 20 year old and my 12 year old is too big.
    Hugs to you.

  46. Not only his bum but the back of his neck for us to admire! Known to my mother’s best friend as the baby’s “sugar patch”. It so is. Thank you for all your sharing. Sending Light.

  47. And when people ask me why I knit, I shall simply refer them to this post.

    I’m so sorry about your loss. I’m glad you have your lovely grandson to give you some comfort.

  48. So freaking adorable! He absolutely needs to pairs.

    Thank you for brightening my day, I absolutely needed it this week.

  49. Yes, He needs more monster pants.
    More important, my daughter needs monster pants , too.
    I have to go stash diving!
    Have an nice das!

  50. He absolutely needs another pair! Maybe more than that! I’ve found babies are wonderful balms to aching hearts, and dressing them to tickle your fancy an easy way to please yourself and others. Have you seen the evil eyebrow babies?!

  51. Oh Steph, I am truly sorry for Susan. However, you are correct–these pants are making me smile and helping me get thru a Friday at work when I really want to be at home knitting and drinking coffee all day.

  52. Oh yes, he does need another pair, if nothing else for when the blue colorway pair is in the wash. This calls for red colorway Monster Pants (like, duh! (-: ).

  53. #1. Good to hear that you’re finding a way to laugh. #2. He definitely needs another pair in another colour-way. #3. adulting is so difficult most of the time and we should all have monster pants, except how do we laugh at our own butts? #4. most of us need to laugh at our own butts, instead of crying about our butts. #5. thanks for the giggle, he is definitely adorable. Or scary, definitely scary in those monster pants.

  54. The monster pants made me smile and giggle a little too! Your grandson is adorable, and I can’t believe he’s standing already.

  55. I didn’t read all the comments above, so pardon me if this is a repeat, but, um , monster pants adult sizes? Any of you accomplished designers up to the task?

    Courage. Resilience and time will see us all through.

  56. The monster pants are amazing! I hope they continue to help you through your grief. I’m so sorry for your losses, but I’m impressed with your resilience. Take care.

  57. The boy is growing like a weed, so different sizes are required. And I’m assuming Meg and Alex need to do laundry occasionally, so duplicates would not go amiss.

  58. resilience, yes, though I sometimes say “flexibility”–resilience is better. And CBC was always our go to when we lived in (far) northern Vermont–even when the announcements of what music were all in French. Love the monster pants, though my grandson is (1) 6 y/o and (2) won’t wear long pants at all. Next pair: fight gender stereotyping and go wild with color. If Meg can tolerate hot pink/whatever.

    • Ah, you missed a crucial post about knitting and colour and gender politics. Put “Rainbow boy” into the search bar for one of the most amazing posts ever!

  59. Monster pants are THE BEST. (Seriously, you win the Internet today.) Even the phrase “monster pants” is marvelous.

    Yes, resilience. Remember, though, that sometimes being resilient is NOT facing things for a while. Resting, taking time, is just as important as facing things. I think sometimes we push ourselves to do things and get over things too quickly. Recovery (of ANY sort) takes time and energy.

    Wishing you peace (and more monster pants).

  60. Totally with you — except that it reminded me that I knit some and don’t think he ever wore them. Probably did and I just wasn’t there, right? and outgrew them too fast, right? I wonder if three is too big…

    Anyway, you’re right. These give me rapid-fire joy.

  61. Yea I know all to well about losing a generation in my life one at a time and have been thinking about you a lot. Thank you for sharing your brilliant monster pants! We miss those who are leaving us but wee ones (in and out of monster pants) remind us of how that life circle goes and we do know how to cry and laugh at the same time…so we do our doing. Thank you for sharing such personal events with us..we all help each other and today’s blog has helped me a lot…now on to my needles.

  62. Monster pants! Thank you for this. The perfect ray of sunshine in a rather not-sunshiney week.

    Sadly, I found this post last night and there is nothing suitable in my stash (that isn’t earmarked for something else). As soon as we have sorted out this “why don’t airports have yarn stores” thing, we have to figure out how to get every community a 24-hr LYS. That’s not too much to ask is it?

    Snowing like the dickens here just now, so shopping is not on. Wonder if I could cast on monster pants w sock yarn held double?

    (I get to click the pants. Serendipity for the win!)

  63. I can’t help thinking that Elizabeth Zimmermann must have been referring to baby Monster Pants with her “Knit on…” and “Properly practiced…” quotes.

  64. So very sorry about your loss. Elliot definitely needs another pair of Monster Pants!! That little wiggle butt (or bum as the case may be) helped my day! Go for it Grandma.

  65. The monster pants are cute, but your grandson is adorable!! As a grandma 10 times over, I will tell you they have lightened my heart many, many times. The young ones are seriously the reason we keep on keeping on. My condolences on your recent loss. May your grief be manageable and your joy abundant.

  66. We all need a pair. Maybe two or three pairs. It would become a Thing that when one is wearing one’s Monster Pants, everyone else just knows to stay the hell out of your way, that life is hard right now, that you were learning to crawl or relearning how to move through life after great losses or … that you just needed to wear your Monster Pants that day.

  67. Wait a minute, do I see Elliot on the verge of taking his first steps? Yes, those fun, adorable monster pants are definitely the antidote for all the crap in the world. I do think he will need more than one pair, and we need to keep seeing him in them. But, does he have to grow so fast?

  68. That is pretty much how I face anything I don’t like..be it the bathrooms, failed projects, having to move a 265 warp over 3 dents because it is not centered, or the loss of a friend to death. ALWAYS face it! Don’t run away or try to hide. It will be there when you get back and it will be more painful when you come out of hiding. Just look at it and take what comes. The pain is not always as bad as we think it will be. And if we look at the situation, and all the bad, there is always some good lurking in a hidden place we missed because we were hiding.

  69. Absolutely another pair. Actually several, different sizes, and formal and casual, and summer shorts, and – – -well, we all are in agreement! 😀

  70. You go girl!! And do come out with an adult pair of them. They are the perfect antidote for any emotion not positive,

  71. Perfect!

    Finishing and gifting a Wonder Woman shawl to a friend in need of a knitted hug, and having it received with great joy, was my “monster pants” therapy this week.

  72. I suggested your essay on resilience to my grand daughter and she said it was just the lesson she needed. My family may get the impression that the blog is just knitting tips and stories about knitting but once in a while I get a convert to look deeper into the writings of my imaginary friend who is a real person.
    Della

  73. you are not the only radio in your house person (she says as sports radio is chattering in the background) and monster pants are ultimate smiles!

  74. I *do* find it amazing what the human spirit can handle when it *has* to………

    And, seriously, he’s mobile already? Slow down there buddy, let the adults catch up with this concept ok?

  75. I know just what you mean about a generation passing you by. A year ago my husband’s aunt passed away and I realized with solemn shock that I am now the family matriarch.

  76. Elliott needs day of the week monster pants.
    We all need monsters that have our back keeping the gremlins and ogres away.

  77. “So much of being a good person is just showing up, I think”: YES. This is absolutely true, I think.

    I loved this post. Also, the pants are darling, and most definitely the best possible project while mourning your aunt Susan.

    hugs to you and yours.

  78. In the precise moment of looking at Elliot’s bottom in Monster Pants, all is right with the world. Keep stringing those moments together. And Elliot may possibly have the cutest bum on the planet.

  79. Almost seven years ago, my brother died, followed three weeks later by my uncle, followed by my first cousin, all within a two month period. Each loss was difficult in its own way, but it also occurred to me then that there were only five people left in my family who were alive when I was born, just give who have known me my whole life. Now one more has died and there are just four, and I am not THAT old. I wish I had had monster pants of my own that year; I could have turned my back on the world and scared it as it was scaring me.

    But life does go on, and while there will soon be no one left who remembers my childhood, there are three grandchildren who will remember me as I am , right now, today, and so we go one, as we must. It gets better, it really does.

  80. Thank goodness they are baby pants! When I read the blog I had this instant vision of an absolute huge pair of knickers, probably knitted in 2 ply lace.

  81. thank you for this bit of joy on Palm Sunday.
    casting on to cheer up my own hurt heart, it does get better, but when you are in the slough of despond? Knitting is a reliable path out.

  82. I am currently involved with a large group of teenagers who lost a friend to suicide three months ago. I wish I could get them to read this post, for none of them have started to recover, or even have hope that they will ever feel better. At 50, I have an advantage. I know that life is absolutely going to stomp you at one point, or many points…but it does continue, and it’s easier to continue if you do precisely what you’ve said here: look it square in the eye, and soldier on.
    So often your writing mirrors the struggle I have in my own heart. Thank you for writing such things, and may you find more monster pants in your future 🙂

  83. I am not aware of an adult pattern but knitted a mash-up of the toddler pattern & a Drops tights pattern. Picture & my knit notes on Ravelry. Knitted for a work colleague & received well.

  84. This is such a wise and inspiring post. Thanks for sharing, Stephanie – I’m so sorry for your losses. As for the monster pants – I LOVE them. I can’t help but smile looking at your pic of them, and have added the pattern to my queue. They are definitely a pick-me-upper! Take care 🙂

  85. Stephanie, what a terrific post. I am so sorry for the losses you have been living through. We are knitters you and I, the same age, and you have helped me with so much over the years. I needed a post on being resilient right about now. So thank you. Again.

  86. Oh, dear lord, THANK YOU!! I needed to laugh like that today. The bustoutloudandscarethecat kind of laugh, and Bless You for giving that to me! You have discovered THE response to your dark moment and shared it. (And you were, as always, eloquent in your missive.) XOXO

  87. I have knit two pairs of monster pants for my grandkids and they do indeed bring joy…as do all the great comments when they are out and about.

  88. I am in need of some resilience myself these days, and somehow your post just popped up at the perfect time. I am so very sad for all the people you have lost and so very happy you have that gorgeous grandson around to keep you moving. Love the monster pants!

  89. OMG my nieces/nephew were still small so I could make a pair of these!

    Would these look good on a 55yr old? Wait…..don’t answer than…..

  90. Oh Stephanie, thank you so much. I’m giggling at my desk now that the laughing fit it past.
    I have twin grandsons five months old today.
    two pair of monster pants, coming up!

  91. In all seriousness, there is nothing better for sad/depressed/unhappy/annoyed/angry/cranky/bad feelings in general than playing with a happy baby. And a happy baby in monster pants?

    Priceless.

    (I bet my almost-7 year old granddaughter would like a pair.)

  92. I think you may have a new book here “Monster Pants- Knitting Resilience through Greif.” Just put together a bunch of photos of baby bums in Monster Pants and I think it will cure everything that ails the world. World peace through Monster Pants. Who could fight if we are all wearing Monster pants?

  93. There comes a time, when all your elders have left you, that you realize that YOU are the elder generation. It’s kind of daunting knowing that the younger folks are looking up to you for guidance and you don’t really feel like you think a grown-up should feel. My mother told me once, before she passed, that she still learned something new every day. She must have felt the same way. 🙂

  94. The monster pants made me smile, too!

    Do you think I could knit them in horse size? There’d have to be a hole for the tail, but I have a couple of mares that would wear them, even if just for the photo op. 🙂 Maybe pony size would be better?

  95. Good for you!!! I knit these last Christmas for my grand nephew, and I concur with your whole post! Thank you for everything you share.

  96. I didn’t think this post could get any better, until I clicked through to the pattern and discovered it has “Grumpybum” in its name.

    My dad’s oldest sister passed away last summer; the next oldest had a heart attack this past Friday, and was also diagnosed with congestive heart failure. When my mom, who was herself diagnosed last year with congestive heart failure, called to tell me the news, our conversation gradually shifted to her listing items of monetary or sentimental importance, where they are, and to whom they go. I realized we, like you, notice the sun is casting longer shadows into the valley, and we are trying to adjust to the twilight.

    I recently created a favorites folder on Ravelry labelled “TFG,” The Future Grandchildren. They’re a ways off, but they will have Grumpybum monster pants.

  97. No babies in my life to knit Monster Pants for at the moment, which is a shame, because Monster Pants are CLEARLY the answer to many things.

  98. Oh, my, I can’t see because I am laughing so hard that I am crying.

    I was trying to figure out why anyone would want to knit giant pants when I scrolled down to see the monster pants in action. Amazing!

  99. YES! Monster pants and that tiny face that thinks you are the MOST incredible person in the world are what you need. I love my children, but MAN, I LOVE my grands! They make me smile all the time. They constantly surprise me. Even though I see them at least once a week, they change every time I see them. So yes, roll like a dog in the grass and enjoy that little guy.

  100. I just recently finished a pair of Monster Pants for my just-turned-three child (I started them at least half her life ago, but got hung up on all that duplicate stitch). They fit strangely since she’s taller and (usually) out of diapers but she loves them. Waggles her bitty behind at everyone and declares, “I have a monster on my buttie,” in the most adorable, self-satisfied way possible. Monster Pants may be the best thing ever.

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