Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.
“It doesn’t fit.” I said.
“You’ll grow into it.” Mom said.
“I hate it.” I whined.
“You’ll learn to like it. It looks good on you.” Mom encouraged.
“I look stupid.” I muttered.
“You looked that way without putting it on.” Brother #2 said from the doorway.
I stuck out my tongue at him and scratched my elbow.
“Stop fidgeting,” Mom said, “Put on the mittens.”
“Awwww, Mom. It’s July. Why are we trying on winter jackets now?” I moaned.
It was called “Christmas in July” at the local church. People donated clothing to be distributed to families in need. For parents with multiple children it was an opportunity to give and receive school and winter clothes at no cost. For the kids it was another opportunity to be disappointed by the term “Christmas.”
Instead of opening beautiful presents with the latest shiny toy or game, here I was sweltering in July heat in a puffy coat that would see me through an Arctic expedition. At least the color matched my corduroy pants, but I absolutely refused to try on the rubber cowboy boots.