By: Sandy Churchill
Every mom needs an “I-Can-Do-Anything-Sweater.” I am not sure when this started or how it became a staple in my fall wardrobe, but for me, it is here to stay. My power sweater is a gypsy-looking, striped maxi-sweater in shades of mocha. I truly feel I can do anything in this sweater. It is a shoring up, you-can-do-this prep that sets the tone for the day. Part sweater, part-coat, it extends past my knees and has chunky buttons and a wrap-you-up-in-coziness feel that comforts and empowers simultaneously.
I have worn this sweater on “power schooling” days when I have taught myriad classes and driven my son on mammoth-scheduled afternoons, spanning science classes, piano, karate, rehearsals, and orthodontist appointments—not to mention out-of-state field trips, work meetings, and paint events I have organized. This sweater (and a second rendition in shades of blue and tan) has “attended” maple sugaring tours, zoo events, hiking trails, Museum of Natural History classes, and playground meet-ups, in addition to homeschool coops, theatre performances, scouting campfires, and doctor’s appointments. I am not sure if it is the warmth, comfort, familiarity, or some intangible blend of energy and magical confidence, but this sweater has helped me tackle many “power” days in parenting, teaching, volunteering, and simply showing up for life.
We all need this. A little external sign of comfort when we need confidence, power, faith in our abilities, and the energy to tackle all ahead of us in the day.
My now-adult middle daughter must have taken a cue from her mom, with her own I-Can-Do-Anything-Sweater—and her efforts made me proud. Britty’s outfit featured a dusty rose chunky-chenille sweater, matching eye shadow and earrings, and geared her up to be a power-negotiator at a recent car purchase. This gave her confidence. It wasn’t about a “power suit” or male-dominated attire to “look” powerful. It was all about the head game. For her, she felt strong, capable—I got this…
It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis dons her get-down-to-business holiday vest in Christmas with the Kranks, when she suddenly realizes she has to throw her legendary Christmas Eve party for dozens of guests in a matter of two hours! In the film, she can’t focus on decorations or food or wine or last-minute invites without her power attire. “I need my vest,” she chants as she scurries to her closet to fetch her holiday confidence accessory.
Does any outfit truly help us “be all we can be?” Perhaps not… but this sweater-donning Mama isn’t tackling her toughest days—at least three seasons out of the year—without her champion “I-Can-Do-Anything cardigan!