Preferred Pajamas

It has been twelve years since I graduated college. Twelve. Watching tv the other night, I heard a fictitious dad say to a fictitious daughter something to the effect that college is the deferral you get in life before, well, life. It was obnoxiously accurate.

Somehow, twelve years later, I still have a plethora of college t-shirts. When not pregnant, I can still fit into [most]... [some of] them. Husband has a handful, too. These fraternity and sorority t-shirts that children wore to class, to flag football games, and out to eat with friends discussing the most important box of nothing have lasted medical school, moves, marriage, and -- most definingly-- children.

I remember my parents have a picture of my brother when he was about LMC's age wearing a t-shirt that must have been my dad's. They got married younger than we did. They had children younger than we did. Their t-shirts were in better shape. Brother is dancing in the picture, with his right foot in the air and waving his arms. His smile is large and encompasses the whole 3x5 image of the moment. I bet when my parents come across it as they rifle through whatever drawer it has found it's way into that they can remember the exact moment that the picture was taken. It is a picture that stuck with me.  If I come across it again, I'll upload it- because it paints Brother so well. That and the picture of him when he said his name was "Buck. Buck Nay-ked" as he danced around the kitchen. That's my brother.

At some point in the last three years, LMC discovered that my t-shirts were the perfect nightgown size for her tiny body. After a bath, I say, "'Pannies' and jammies." When daddy is on call, she whispers my ear, "Mama, may I please wear one of your t-shirts?" Of course I say yes. She runs back to my bedroom dropping her towel along the way. Streaking in, she grabs a shirt and proudly pulls it over her head before rounding the corner and returning to show it off. It is in these moments that I smile, remembering how many times I wore that same shirt, or remember the event that took place that required the purchase of this overpriced t-shirt. We snuggle on the couch and watch "Earth to Luna" before I send her back to bed.

Skipping down the hall, her blonde curls bob as she either sings or whines all the way to her bedroom. I get a little nostalgic looking at the "Kite and Key" date night make its way away from me wrapping my little five year old up in pride- and I, in memories of being a just a kid on deferral from life.

After prayers, I kiss her forehead and as she asks for a minute more of awake time by saying the obnoxious, "HUGGIE!"A quick hug, another kiss, and I tell her "Sweet dreams, sweet potato."

Both my five year old and the t-shirt reminding me of my deferral are tucked into the bed that I slept in as a child.

I hear, "Sweet dreams, Mommy potato" as I walk down the hall.

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