Sometimes I dress them both in stripes, unconsciously.
For me, little boys and stripes go together like ice cream and chocolate sauce. If I see a pile of shirts on display, I will pick the striped ones 9 times out of ten – unless they already have one in that colour. *ahem*
Ever since Captain Alpha was skimming the knees of grasshoppers, I have loved seeing him in stripes. Now I get to see them again, when I unpack them for Captain Bravo to wear. I always think to myself how certain pieces are “so [Alpha]” and that I cannot possibly imagine them becoming Bravo’s in the same way. But they do.
We have had a striped, blue and white hoodie since Alpha was Bravo’s age – now Bravo wears it all the time, sometimes with stripes underneath. (That’s just how we fly at the Co-Pilot house.)
Years ago, I was grateful for its broad stripes in large crowds – and I still am. I remember adventures with Alpha in this hoodie, and now his little brother is having more.
School starts here tomorrow. And today, I find myself with those now-familiar before-school thoughts.
Will he make friends in his new class?
Will they see his bright?
Will they “get” him?
I hope they see his true stripes – bold and sensitive and sweet. I wish that they could not help but notice his humour and wit and enthusiasm. I hope they appreciate those stripes like I do.
Another adventure begins tomorrow – new class, new teacher, new challenges. New change. New growth. New big steps, inching ever-so-slowly farther away from me.
Tomorrow morning there will be smiles and jitters and checking of clocks. I will smooth his hair and pack his lunch and untuck his shirt where it wants to cling to the waist of his jeans. I will give him the usual reminders:
“Be kind. Listen to your teacher. Be yourself.”
Show them your stripes, young Captain.
There will likely be hurried goodbyes in the car as I drop him off and watch him run – all smiles and bouncing backpack – toward the children on the playground. There may be a few tears as I pull away from the curb tomorrow – and maybe the morning after that. I must remember to put tissues in my pocket.
Tomorrow, Captain Alpha starts grade four. He’ll be the one in stripes.
and with Shell from Things I Can’t Say for Pour Your Heart Out