As kids get older, they're supposed to give up special objects they're attached to, right? Maybe. I know plenty of adults who had significant objects they're used to and would miss if the objects were gone. Note that I am NOT talking about technology which contains important information we cannot live without. But every time I lose a pair of earrings or leave a pair of flip flops behind on vacation, I'm a little sad. So I guess I should not be surprised by the red sweatshirt.
Every year for the last few, my teenager has become one with a hoodie. It doesn't matter if he's picked it out or it was given to him. He wears one zip-up sweatshirt...in all types of weather...no matter what. Here's the current model:
Note that he's wearing it at the pool... on a 105 degree day... in the sun. He wore it, and only it, over a shirt when the weather was 10 below zero. He wore it earlier today while he was jogging in 100 degrees. He wears it in the rain, sleet, and snow.
Junior does not let me wash the hoodie. It has crumbs from a thousand protein bars in its pockets. It has stains from burritos and pizza. It smells putrid, like something the EPA fines municipalities for. My husband and I joke that it probably contains bacteria like listeria and e-coli. Interestingly enough, my son takes pride in how absolutely disgusting his hoodie is.
I do, of course, wash it. When he's sleeping, the only time he takes it off, I secretively bring it down to the washing machine. The article gets washed alone, because the water it gets submerged in turns gray. It gets put in the dryer, sans dryer sheets which might make it smell nice, and then placed back in a heap by the front door for Junior to don in the morning.
My son will wear the hoodie until, like the Incredible Hulk, he's bursting out of it. Then, he'll either ask for or get a replacement from a friend or Nana.
It comforts me to know he's attached to something so inane. Someday, when he's a bit more grown, he'll bring home a girl and she'll either demand that he get rid of it or he'll ditch it for her. Until then, the repulsive hoodie is a reminder that he's still my little boy and, like his former favorite stuffed wolf, he needs an object of comfort.
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