By Wayne Scott

May 23, 2016

A stack of t-shirts sits on my bureau: white, pale blue, yellow. The soft, bright colors of summer. Most of them are too tight on me.

My shy, contemplative daughter started wearing my clothes when she was thirteen. On her they looked baggy, her thin body lost in wrinkled folds. When she left in the morning, I offered: “Oh, sweetheart, not that. What about….?” She only became more persistent in sneaking my clothes.

That narcissist that lurks in the background of good fatherly intentions sulked secretly, “I have a child who is frumpy.” I steeled myself to the possibility that she wouldn’t grow out of it. I wished I didn’t care.

When she entered an all-girl’s high school, she wrote an essay, “Why I Never Wore a Skirt in Middle School,” about the years of sexual harassment she had endured. In sixth grade there were twenty boys and six girls in her class of gifted students. By ninth grade, three girls remained. She liked her teachers, so she persisted.

Even in an all-girl’s environment, she still wears my shirts. Mostly I’ve grown accustomed to sharing. (I even bought some that were snug. When borrowed, they don’t look so baggy.) Sometimes I still cringe when she wears a purple sweatshirt that I love.

Soon she will go away to college. The stack of shirts grows. A few are even favorites of mine, so comfortable to wear on the weekends. I am already starting to think about the things she will take with her.


comments powered by Disqus « Back to Beautiful-Things

Newsletter Sign Up

shadow shadow