Monday, March 09, 2009

Like Mother, Like Daughter: The Colonial Mob Cap Craze

I grew up about an hour and a half from colonial Williamsburg, which made it prime territory for elementary school field trips and family vacations. I have happy memories of traipsing through the many buildings in the historic area, marveling over the ways people used to make candles and soap, playing on the green, and goofing off with my sister around the "stocks," where colonial miscreants were put in irons if they broke the law.

Seven years ago, my husband and I went to colonial Williamsburg for what we fondly termed our last "couple vacation." We stayed in a quaint, old-fashioned lodge where each room was basically a tiny cottage that felt like your own postage-stamp sized house (with the tiniest shower imaginable). I was about seven months pregnant at the time, struggling with terrible congestion in my ears (the beginning of my ongoing ear problems) but we had a wonderful time. While we were there, we bought three hats: a black tri-cornered hat for D., and white, lacy "mob caps" for me and our baby-on-the-way. We couldn't resist the hats: I still fondly recalled loving the little "mob cap" I'd gotten on one of those long-ago family trips.

The sweet girl loved Williamsburg, even in utero. As we walked up and down the historic streets, me clad in good walking shoes and sitting down whenever my back protested, she kicked more often than was her usual habit (at least during the day...she was an active night-time baby!). D. and I laugh to remember how she always seemed to kick really hard when we paused near a particular restaurant, whose food smelled delicious (you could catch the scent on the sidewalk, as some diners dined outdoors) but whose menu prices were sky-high (way past our budget)!

I have no idea where the tri-cornered hat and grown-up mob cap went to -- likely relegated to a closet shelf. But the little girl mob cap is still around, and the sweet girl recently rediscovered it. We've told her about Williamsburg and we're hoping to make a family field trip there sometime near or during her third grade year. She's fascinated by the little lacy cap. Watching her wear it is almost like watching myself as an enthusiastic grade schooler all over again.

Yesterday she decided to wear it to church! I'm pretty sure it was the first time anyone had ever worn a colonial mob cab into our urban parish. What I loved was the double-takes and then the delighted grins as people saw her in it. Sometimes people flashed the smiles right at her, and sometimes they twisted around and grinned at us. I also deeply appreciated the cool junior high girl who made sure to tell her how much she liked it.


Erin said...

I think Williamsburg would be a really neat place to visit. I've known several people who have taken trips there, and I've heard all good reports. I never heard the term "mob cap" before but I definitely recognize the style. I bet she's cute as a button in it!

Beth said...

Hey Erin! She is indeed cute in it, and it was so funny yesterday watching people react to it. Not something you see every day!

You'd love Williamsburg, I think. It's really a fun place to visit!