Sons and brothers


When we were kids there really weren’t any designer labels for anyone under the age of twenty. The big thing was Garanimals, but I don’t know if my brothers had any – I didn’t. Mom made a lot of my dresses and we shopped at K-Mart and local department stores. As long as our clothes were clean, we were all happy.

Having a son brings back a lot of memories that center around clothing, most specifically the cleanliness of them. I remember being surprised at the scolding my brother received one day. He had taken a few trips down a grassy hill behind our elementary school while we waited for our mother to pick us up. The problem was the method of locomotion he used – he slid down the hill on his knees. Needless to say, those stains probably didn’t come out. And since we only got a couple of new pairs of jeans per school-year, it was a serious situation to have one pair ruined.

Now that I am raising a son I am more acutely aware of the cost and labor that goes into keeping play clothes clean. My solution: don’t spend more than $5.00 on any one piece of clothing. I primarily shop for him at a local second-hand kids clothing store. They are fairly choosy about what they will take in, so I don’t have to go over the tee shirts and jeans with a keen eye like I do if I’m shopping at yard sales. I don’t mind my son staining his clothes – I mean, he’s three – but I will try to give him at least a week of spot-free life before he comes home wearing something that won’t come out.

Mom was a believer in the iron-on patches of denim – remember those? Lucky for us, the patchwork look was in when we were kids in the 1970’s. My solution for grass stains on the knees – make shorts. Lucky for me, my three-year-old doesn’t care. Yet.


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