With each step further into the boys department, I marveled at our good fortune.
(Well, kind of.)
Yellow and red clearance stickers dotted stacks of fitness tops and pants.
(And more stacks.)
We started in the big boys section, with the orange long-sleeve shirts. Orange has unofficially become our team color -- it seems like this section of my laundry sort paint pallet grows wider and wider -- so the elder little asks to have the one with a soccer ball, baseball, football, and basketball arranged in a neat square on the front. I say, "Perfect," because at home we have the matching track pants.
Next, he went for the stack of lime green long-sleeve shirts. It fits his favorite genre of clothing -- athleticwear -- and they still have it in L(7). He's an L(7) now. Big stuff. This one shows a big soccer ball, front and center. Playing soccer, namely practicing his moves as a goalie positioned in the center of our eating area/family room arched doorway, is how he's spent his winter months. I say, "Perfect," because at home we have the matching track pants.
Then, we cross the ivory linoleum aisle into the little boys section. At his advice. "Mommy, you know what would be really cool?" I stop.
"What? What would be really cool?"
"Well, I was just thinking, it would be really cool if we could find the same clothes in Grant's size."
I found myself instantly back in the yellow hallway bathroom, just months earlier, listening to a crying little brushing teeth before bedtime. Things like, "Can we just take him back to the hospital, Mommy?" and "It was so much easier before he came to our team" were said for the millionth time. This time, I had something to say back: "Do you ever think it might be your problem...? I mean, sometimes I think you try really hard not to like your brother, and sometimes it seems like you might give him a hard time just for something to do." He stopped.
Big, brown eyes betrayed the coping mechanism he labored daily to maintain. He collapsed into my arms.
"You know, there is room for both of you on our team. The four of us go together because God put us together. He knew we needed each other to have fun, to live, and to grow. So can we do that together? All of us? I promise...we will do great things if we work together. It all starts with the decision to try. Will you try?"
"Look! Mommy! Here is the orange shirt we found in my size. They DO have it in Grant's size! Let's get this, too!" I say, "Perfect," and on the shelf below the shirt, the matching track pants are available in 2T. We add them to our stack.
"Hey! They have the green long-sleeve shirt, too. Look! 2T! That's Grant's size!" I say, "Perfect," again because we have matching pants at home.
"This is so cool. I know Grant will think it's neat to have clothes like my big boy clothes."
"I agree. I think he will. I think you may even like having clothes that match. You know, it was a generous suggestion to spend part of our money on some new clothes for him."
We find our way back onto the linoleum path towards the cash registers up front. He arranges our items just-so on the checkout counter. The saleslady makes eyes at Reid and she cooes, "Do you have a little brother? You're going to match, Handsome..."
"We will. They're team clothes!"
|Here they are representing today...|