The difference between being a first-time mom and being a mom on Round Two is this: When I just had the boy, I wasn’t overly interested in hand-me-down clothing.
I feel like I should be sitting in a confessional when I say that, with the priest on the other side of the wall from me, because GRAND HIGH SIN OF PRIDE. The only problem with this is that I’m a Baptist, and we don’t have confessionals, but I teach at a Catholic school, so I’m pretty sure our priest would hear my confession anyway.
When the boy was tiny, I wanted to dress him in brand new clothing, and I wanted him to sit in a brand new high chair, and I wanted him to play with brand new toys, because he was brand new, and we were young and also very naive.
(If it makes any difference, I was never going to feed the boy fast food, either, and I frowned on mamas who resorted to chicken nuggets and fries in cardboard boxes. Some ideas are just meant to be crushed, because the boy’s home-away-from-home is McDonald’s.)
And then, somewhere about first grade, I realized that kids grow exactly as fast as hollyhocks do, and I was going to put us in the poor house, buying all of these adorable Gymboree outfits.
When Thing 2 arrived, I was much older. Like… I CAN GROW A MUSTACHE NOW and THIS IS THE WHITE HAIR IN MY CHEEK THAT CAN GO FROM NOTHING TO THREE INCHES WHILE I SLEEP kind of older. And I realized that the very best thing on the planet, that doesn’t actually come from Starbucks, is hand-me-downs.
To say that I embraced the hand-me-downs with our second son is an understatement. It would be easier to say that THE ONLY THING THING 2 HAD THAT WAS BRAND NEW WHEN HE WAS BORN WAS HIS CARSEAT, and Grammy and Papa bought that for him. Everything else (EVERY!! THING!!) had come from friends, and I was so pleased with the recycling and the resourcefulness and the LOOK, HUBS, AT ALL THE DOLLARS I’M SAVING THIS TIME AROUND.
When it came to clothes, we hit the fashion jackpot between my darling friends, Carrie and Lisa. They have embraced the Gymboree and the Gap movements, and they are done having little boys at their houses, so they were eager to pass on their sons’ wardrobes to us. Every single time a box arrives from one of these girls, I feel like it’s Christmas morning, as I dig through everything and exclaim, “Oh, my! Look at ALL THE ADORABLE HERE!!”
Hubs and I haven’t really purchased ANY clothing for that second son of ours, because Lisa and Carrie have so generously shared their boys’ closets with us.
(Plus, Grammy is kind of a fashionista, too, so she’s always slipping little outfits our way, which we love.)
(Have y’all ever noticed how I can draw a story out to the point of Boring Exhaustion?)
Last night, we got the box from Carrie that was roughly the size of a Volkswagen Bug. It was filled to the brim with 3T clothing, and that is the size we are in desperate need of. Thing 2’s linebacker thighs can no longer fit in 2T shorts and jeans, and we had been waiting on some 3T stuff to make its way to our house. So, between Lisa’s batch of 3T jeans that she sent over last week and this box from Carrie, Thing 2 no longer has to look like a busted-open can of biscuits, with his thighs squeezed into Levi’s or his gut dangling over shorts.
(Hubs swears that Thing 2’s thighs have RUNNING BACK tattooed on them. More specifically, Hubs insists that the tattooing says DENVER BRONCOS RUNNING BACK.)
(What I seriously worry about is that Thing 2’s thighs are gonna surpass Lisa’s and Carrie’s boys. This would be devastating, if we were to reach the point where YEAH, I KNOW YOUR BOYS ARE NEARLY A YEAR OLDER AND THEN A YEAR-AND-A-HALF OLDER, BUT OUR SOLID, BUILT-FOR-ALL-THE-SQUATS-IN-THE-GYM THIGHS ARE BIGGER THAN YOU NOW, because that would signal an end to the hand-me-downs.)
(Hubs says Thing 2 is going to be one of those men who always wears a pair of gym shorts, because he can’t get Levi’s over his legs.)
(I just say that he’s never going to be a man, actually, because he’s just going to be my little baby.)
(For the record, I said that about the boy, too, but now the boy is fourteen, and he can eat three double-cheeseburgers in one sitting and then ask for a bowl of cereal as a chaser.)
So that’s the back story.
The point of tonight’s post is simply this:
At the very bottom of the giant box from Carrie last night, we found a REAL PAIR of soccer cleats.
The boy plays soccer, and Thing 2 pays attention enough to know that HEY! KIDS HAVE SPECIAL SHOES FOR THIS SPORT! He’s constantly telling us that his blue sneakers are his soccer shoes, and whenever he wears them, he feels an enormous urge to go kick his soccer ball around our house. Last night, I showed him the shoes, and I said, “Look, Buddy! These are real soccer shoes. They’re actually called CLEATS.”
It was exactly as if the heavens had opened and the angels had rejoiced over our toddler.
And now, he will wear nothing else upon his feet.
Thing 2 informed me first thing this morning when we got dressed that he wanted his soccer shoes on. And he didn’t want those blue sneakers that USED TO BE his soccer shoes; he wanted those soccer shoes in the new cardboard box on the dining room table! Never mind that they’re officially two sizes too big, as they’re a size 10, and Thing 2 really wears an 8. He didn’t give a flying fig about having too much room in his toes. (We just wore thick socks today.) Our kid has tromped all over the place today in those REAL SOCCER CLEATS, making clomping sounds on our hardwood floors and grinning from ear to ear.
He has a genuine case of Shoe Pride today, y’all.
I tried to take some pictures of him this morning, but it was every bit as easy as taking snapshots of the elusive Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster. The toddler wasn’t interested in grinning or posing or whatever else I wanted him to do. What he WAS interested in was jumping off the fireplace hearth and landing on the hardwood floors with an enormous CLEAT-ENHANCED THUNK that made him grin with utter happiness.
So… here he is. He’s wearing a shirt passed down to us from Carrie’s handsome boys… a pair of shorts passed down to us from Lisa’s adorable son… and his treasured soccer shoes.