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Better than the shirt off my back

My oldest just started kindergarten, and he needed some school supplies, of course. Among those supplies was a paint shirt, and the instructions said an old adult-sized shirt would be fine.

We sent him with something, but he wanted a different one his second week of school–something bigger than what we sent him initially, so that it would cover his legs too. “I want a plain shirt,” he told me. “One with no writing on it.”

Then he paused. “The shirt you have on looks good.”That shirt was nothing special. It was a plain white t-shirt from Costco. They come in big packages, they’re reasonable quality, and the price is reasonable. I wear one every day under my button-up shirts I wear to work. But for some reason, it was just what my kindergartener wanted.

Now, it was 7 pm that night. When I get home, I usually take off the outer shirt I wore to work and leave on the t-shirt. So, at that point in time, I’d been wearing that t-shirt for about 13 hours. (I’m not one of those same-shirt-different-day guys, regardless of what you might have heard.)

“The shirt you have on looks good,” he repeated, with the same smile that he gives me when he’s asking for something big, like a Thomas train or something. For something as simple as a Costco t-shirt, it would have been almost cruel to say no.

I laughed. “I think I can do better than that,” I said. “Let me see if I can find a clean one.”

So I went to my dresser, opened a drawer, found a clean shirt for my son, and a second one for myself to wear the next day–I’m not a same-shirt-different-day guy, remember–and handed one of them to him.

He was happy with the substitution. That’s a good thing, because I’m sure his teacher and classmates are much happier that he’s wearing a shirt that doesn’t have daddy stank on it during art class.

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2 thoughts on “Better than the shirt off my back”

  1. I recall getting to use one of my Dad’s old shirts for art in kindgarten. Every kid, including me, was excited and it was neat to see what kind of used shirts everyone brought. It was always a neat feeling that year seeing the shirt hanging on a peg at school, then putting it on for the messy projects.

    Years later when my kids began school I looked forward to being the one to hand down one of my own shirts to each of my four kids, but (un)forntunately the school provided smocks. I even asked during open house. Although my girls never thought to borrow my clothes for any other reasons, my son has inherited certain clothing for pjs and helping with painting. Occasionally he has come into a room fully dressed as me. It is a funny sight!

  2. Oh boy that is a good story. I’m still chuckling at that one. And no, daddy stank is not something anyone needs to be exposed too.

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