For years, my 19-year-old daughter has been “borrowing” (and not returning) things belonging to me: my bicycle, my t-shirts, my necklaces, my leather boots, my–well, you get the idea. Basically, anything that takes her fancy that’s not locked down. She’s now in college, so my access to my own things has dramatically and happily revived, once I went through her college-bound duffel bags last September and retrieved all my stuff.
But now my 11-year-old daughter has sprouted, and I am finding myself “sharing” my possessions with this new interloper: the pristine UGGs that I found at a thrift store for $40 two months ago, the t-shirts, the small bit of make-up that hasn’t already been acquired by the 19-year-old and, as of two nights ago, my nightgown, because she suddenly decided that she no longer likes sleeping in pajamas. I am now stomping around bootless in freezing weather while she walks to school in my UGGs, the sheepskin caressing her toes. Not to mention the fact that I’m tossing and turning at night in a pair of flannel pants and a sweatshirt instead of my comfy nightgown which now envelopes her as she gently drifts to sleep.
But, blessedly, my third child is a boy, so my possessions–at least my clothes–are safe. You would think.
I have two pairs of khaki trousers. Two. I love these pants; they fit well, and they look as good as they can on my middle-aged body.
The last time I saw my khakis they were upstairs in a box with all my spring/summer clothes. I was looking forward in the next month or two to shucking off the corduroys that I’ve worn throughout this god-awful, freezing cold winter, and breaking out the khakis.
But one night several weeks ago, I saw a pair of khakis on the lower half of my son. They looked familiar, and then it dawned on me. He was wearing my beloved khakis!
I told him in no uncertain terms to return my pants to the box, which he did. But I have just looked, and they are gone.
Ten minutes ago, my son called from the airport. And told me where my khakis are.
They are on a flight to the Dominican Republic.
More specifically: they are on the nether portion of my 17-year-old son who is on a flight to the Dominican Republic. My son, who is 6 feet tall and 180 very muscular, hunky pounds–seven inches taller and over thirty pounds heavier than me.
He is flying through the night, away from the snow that is blanketing New England and into the sun of a tropical island. Wearing my pants.
Which he will no doubt wear while he works for the next two weeks with schoolchildren in Santo Domingo, stretching my lovely khakis all the while to fit his large physique. My beloved khakis will never be the same.
And you know the worst thing about all of this? Besides the fact that I’ve lost yet another cherished possession to one of my children, the very worst thing is that my son looks better in my khakis than I do!
Other musings on child-rearing: Stupid things parents do; The suckiness of having to model good behavior to your kids; Lies parents tell their children; The things she lost: sign of the times; Letting go and emotional rescue