When our oldest child was born, Zach and I were your stereotypical, nervous new parents who didn’t have a CLUE what we were in for. I mean, Zach was all, “MAYBE it would be cheaper to use cloth diapers.” And I was like, “Are YOU going to change them?” and he was like, “Actually, disposables aren’t that expensive.”
One thing we absolutely did right was buy a ridiculously expensive camera, to keep minute records of our parental cluelessness. This was back when you had to have a camera to take photos. I can hear it now:
“Kids, I remember when the first iPhone was invented!”
“How did you take selfies without an iPhone?”
“Nobody had even heard of selfies back then, Son.”
“Whoa. You are very old. Can I have your money when you die?”
(The above conversation, while hypothetical, is based on real things my children have said to me)
The camera was a great investment, and before it breathed its last rather recently, we put hundreds of thousands of shots through the shutter (As any new parent of only one child knows, you must capture every single facial expression in every outfit, every day. Very important. We’re lucky the camera lasted as long as it did.). Those memories are priceless.
How does this relate to cowboys (or cowgirls) and Indians? Glad you asked.
First, I guess you could call it my tribute to home. I’m originally from Oklahoma, and when I talk about my home state with new acquaintances, I often find that people pretty much think we still live in teepees and Wild West territory. And the truth is, though this Oklahoma girl has worked on the Hill in Washington DC, lived and surfed in Hawaii, and spent three years as an expat in Europe, I’m still undoubtedly a cowgirl at heart, and never more proud of it.
Second, Zach and I are nerds at heart, and we love to dress up. Be it cosplay for a birthday party or movie premiere, historical fashion for a ball, or even some LARP activities, we love to dress for the occasion, so it was only a matter of time before we included our little proteges. Zach and I began saying to one another with increasing frequency, “Wouldn’t it be cute if we dressed the kids up as [insert almost anything adorable here] and just let them run around and play and took their pictures?” Our ideas were endless– we even picked up props and material with which to “make costumes” from time to time for these theoretical shoots. That’s how we ended up with a Radio Flyer horse.
Once we had the horse, we needed to crack down and make the costumes. I pulled out my sewing machine, which had basically only made curtains for my house up to that point, and–with no pattern– made a very primitively sewn skirt and vest for my cowgirl and covered it in fringe. My husband put a few bits of fur around a waistband of elastic to form my little Indian’s diaper cover. He superglued a feather on a scrap of leather band for our young brave’s head dress and painted him up with finger paint.
We pulled out bandanas and necklaces and hats that we had been acquiring in hopes of “someday” to complete the costumes, and then we headed over to a field adjacent to our apartment complex.