There is this sweater, you see. It is a soft sea-green, cable-knit hoodie with a subtle periwinkle-blue trim on the cuffs and waist. It is a quality brand name, it zips up the front and it has lasted through both G and N. We've had it so long, I couldn't even remember where or how we got it, but I do know N has gotten more use out of it than G. While I knew I hadn't bought it from a store, because generally that's not how we do things, I thought I got it from a consignment somewhere. Maybe a clearance sale. Never mind that, it's a fine, fine sweater.
The thing is, now that it is D-boy sized, he doesn't want it. It's not his color, he says. This is the boy who now insists his name be said correctly (no nicknames), that his clothes be spotless (water spots are no exception, off they come) and that his boots be by the door without fail when he comes in. So when he says he won't wear this sweater, he oh so very much means it.
But I love the sweater. It's a fine, fine sweater. It's in great shape and needs to be worn. So I put it in the closet and saved it for Nikirj's Bitty Princess. I fretted a bit, because it's not pink or lavendar. It has no sequins or ruffles, no lace or glitter. I worry that instead of being loved, it will be scorned for the second time. Finally, I decide the sweater must be given. It can't be boxed or donated. It must be presented.
For lunch on Wednesday this week, we traveled to the C-family abode. The sweater came with us, and as we made our greetings, I said to Bitty Princess, "I have a present for you! A princess sweater!" Hype, hype, I must hype the fine, fine sweater. Any reaction I might have gauged from Bitty Princess was lost as her mother began to chuckle.
"Oh cool!" She said simply, "Becca's sweater came back. That's such a good sweater, isn't it?"
Blink Blink. Blink Blink.
"We got it from YOU????" I bellowed.
"What, you didn't remember that?"
My embarassment morphed into glee as I cavorted about, happy that the sweater made it's way back home, full circle. Quite by accident, of course, as I really forgot it ever came from there. (Still. I am ashamed. No recollection.) I love stuff like this.
And so, this is community. Child number five (maybe) in the fine, fine sweater. It's making its rounds as the years pass among us, and it's taken on a symbolism; it's now imbued with the warmth of friendship, of filial love for other people's children. We want them to be warm, we want them to be loved. We want them to be in possession of fine, fine sweaters.