If Eddie could choose school uniforms, this is what all the kids would be wearing: flannels tucked into jogging pants, accessorized with stocking caps and Crocs. Eddie does not care about “stuff”. I think he was born that way. We have a funny video of him when he was 5. He opened up a Christmas present. It was a pair of pants. His face registered exactly nothing. Then he quickly tossed the pants to the side. If he had opened an empty box, he would have been more excited.
That isn’t the funny part though. I know. Pants are a stupid gift to give a 5-year-old. The funny part is listening to me. I scold him and tell him he needs to be polite and grateful – which is true, of course. Then I try to get him excited about his new pants. That’s the part that still makes laugh. There is likely no greater waste of a person’s time on this Earth than trying to get Eddie excited about a pair of pants, or a shirt, or shoes, or high-tech outerwear, or cars or a fancy house. He does not understand or care about any of it.
I guess it isn’t a complete surprise to see the person that Eddie is becoming. This year he discovered a treasure in our basement. An entire rack of his dad’s 1980’s flannels. Scott was certain they would come in handy some day. We’ve moved 100 pounds of flannels to 4 different homes in the last 20 years. The folks who help us move ask me every time why we are holding on to these things. I think my mom may have even tried to throw them in the rag bag once. Scott rescued them. He knew they’d come in handy one day. And, well, now he is vindicated.
Our kids land on Planet Earth all wired up in a certain way, don’t they? Doesn’t even matter if they’re from the same parents. One morning before school Eddie was coming in from outside. I asked him what he was doing. He said he was going to the bathroom out there, because “Calvin Klein” had himself locked in the bathroom. “Calvin Klein” being Zeke, Eddie’s brother. Now Zeke is no clothes horse, but yeah, truth be known he would rather match than not match. And, he isn’t opposed to putting a comb through his hair in the morning either. Eddie doesn’t know how he let Zeke sell out to commercialism like that. It’s a real sore spot for him.
I’m wishy washy on a lot a things. But, one thing I know for sure is that I will never fight with my children about clothes. Sure, I think Eddie would be super handsome in J.Crew (I bet you a thousand bucks if you mention J.Crew to Eddie he will think you’re talking about a friend or a cousin.) But, I’m preoccupied with other things like laundry, dishes, kids’ homework, trying to keep Eddie alive. Stuff like that. Besides, isn’t pushing our kids to be something they are not (something we would prefer) the number one way to force them into therapy as adults? I’m not doing it. No way.
So, we watch in fascination as these little people figure out who they are. Eddie came home from school this week and said he had two different people come up to him at two separate times and say, “Eddie, I thought there was a hobo walking around the school, and then I realized it was just Eddie.”
I asked Eddie, “What did you say?”
He said, “I said, thank you!”