Saturday, March 12, 2011
Ode to a Denim Jacket
When my sister was Ben's age, her uniform consisted of a dinosaur t-shirt and red shorts. And it wasn't a girly shirt. The dinosaur wasn't a famous cartoon character that had a name. It wasn't smiling. It was a screen print of a t-rex, with his little arms curled, mouth open, and standing under a very tiny sun. I'm not sure how she came to own this terrible shirt, but she wore it every day for months and pitched a fit if it was unavailable. The red shorts didn't match her "diney shirt", but they always went with it. Strangers would smile at her and ask my mom how old her son was.
Ben's uniform is the denim jacket and jeans, his Canadian Tuxedo. While shopping for winter clothing last fall, Ben spotted the jacket on a hanger in Target, pulled it off the rack, into the cart, and smiled. This was the first time he'd ever expressed a preference for clothing, so I went with it. I made sure he understood the fashion choice he was about to make and tried to talk him into something else, but without success. He cradled the jacket throughout the whole store and proudly placed it on the checkout counter, taking personal responsibility for it. And every day since then, cold weather or not, he's worn this stupid jacket.
I'll admit, it's pretty cute with a pair of khakis and a button-down shirt. But when I try to explain to him that jeans AND the jacket is just too much denim, he brushes me off and insists it complete his ensemble. Sometimes, I hide it so he forgets about it while he's getting dressed. Up until now, I've had to put it on him. But this week, Mimi taught him how to put it on all by himself. So now he even wears it with pajamas. I gave birth to a Canadian.
Since the denim jacket purchase, I've bought two other jackets. Grammie bought one too. He screams if you suggest he try any of them on, so the denim jacket it is. I have a lot of anxiety about this summer and the jacket. Just like the time my sister engaged in a battle of the wills over wearing her diney shirt to a wedding, I envision fighting Ben over wearing his jacket to the park on a 90 degree day. But for now, I'll let it slide.
Posted by pecky at 2:45 PM