52 T-Shirts

I am in the process of weeding through my children's clothing. This week, I’ve been focusing on the boys' clothes. Without finishing the laundry and before counting whatever t-shirts might by on their floor, behind their beds, balled up in their closet, cast off in the minivan, stuck God knows where, I have so far counted 52 boy t-shirts.

There is something seriously wrong with two boys owning 52 t-shirts.

I wonder how many shirts the average 10 year old boy in Haiti has. Or had, before the earthquake, and then how many he has now. I wonder how many shirts the average South African 10 year old boy has. How many shirts did he have to choose from to wear on the day he watched his countrymen play Mexico in the opening game of the World Cup? For that matter, I wonder how many shirts the average school-kid has in my own urban and afflicted city.

I'm guessing none of those three hypothetical boys has anywhere near 26 t-shirts (52 divided by my two male offspring).

I figure I'll find at least 10 more shirts scattered far and wide around this house. There are probably at least 1 or 2 in the backyard.

In our feeble defense, I will say that those shirts are mostly divided into four categories: (1) they came from the local thrift shop; (2) they are hand-me-downs; (3) they were gifts; or (4) they came from a camp, event, contest, team, or some other special event that included a shirt. I cannot remember ever once buying the boys a t-shirt from a regular retail shop, just because.

Of the thrift shop collection, we got one for our 2nd son that was spot on perfect for him during this past school year. He was mis.er.a.ble. the entire year, disliking his classroom with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. Rick found him this shirt:

That right there is t-shirt perfection.

We've got shirts from Shakespeare camp (three of them), soccer camp, the garden tour, and the San Francisco Giants (at least 4). We've got the fun shirts, like the one pictured above, or the one that says "You Can Have My Sister." We've got a handful of plain white tees. We've got hand-painted Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell Pittsburg Pirates t-shirts . We've got the One World, One Game shirts, one for every dude in the house; they're like a triptych in those things.

But the situation is out of control, so yesterday, the boys and I pared it down to 20. Well, slightly more than 20, because I decided to keep, for memory's sake, the Clemente and Stargell shirts I painted for them and the Murphy's Irish Pub shirt with my dad’s cartoon image of himself on the back.

We also weeded through their shorts, pants, jeans, sweatshirts, swimtrunks (they had seven!) and pajamas. I am happy to report that now, all of their stuff almost fits in their dresser drawers.

On to the girls next week. I already know I'm going to struggle with this one:

No one has fit into this dress or hat in over three years, and I still can't part with them. The nostalgia factor is just too high.

Why do we get so attached to our clothing? Or is that just me?

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Teacher Mommy said…
I'm doing the opposite--searching for inexpensive clothing for the boys to supplement what I'll take with me out of the house when I move! But I understand how it feels to become attached...

Gorgeous new look, by the way!
Sandy said…
The last time I did my grandson's laundry, there were 8 t-shirts, 2 pair of pants, 1 pair of socks, and no underwear. Did I mention this was supposed to be 1 week's worth of laundry and EVERYTHING dirty out of his room? ARGH!
Monica said…
Sandy, want me to ship you some t-shirts?????

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