What the Boys Wear

by Linda on September 12, 2017

in Hump Day Shorts

I’m looking nearly eye-to-eye with my 13-year-old (soon to be 14-year-old) Will. At his physical this summer, he was just 1 ¾” shorter than me. With his school shoes on, he’s only about ¾” shorter. Thinking he had popped up an inch overnight one morning last week, I had him back up against the door where we’ve been marking the boys’ heights since they were old enough to stand. “It’s just my shoes, Mom.” Yes, partially. He had grown another quarter inch in the last month.

Liam has hit the growth spurt as well. Nearly four inches since last August. Will has more markings on the door in recent months. I don’t have a system of monthly or bi-monthly measurement. It’s more like, “Gosh, you seem taller! Go stand by the door; I’ll bring my Sharpie.” Or, “You’re pants are too short. Go stand by the door; I’ll bring my Sharpie.” And when Will’s head approached my shoulder and beyond, I’ve marched him to the door more often over the last year.

Will and Liam are not caught up in clothing styles or brands. Comfort comes first. And with both of them in school uniforms, comfort becomes a relative word during the week. Then, after school and on the weekend, the t-shirts and sweats come out. Will has few t-shirts that aren’t gymnastics related. Liam seldom dons shirts unless we are leaving the house or company is coming over. However, lately, he’s been cooking and has realized it’s good to have a shirt on to avoid splatters on bare skin. What shorts Liam wears only matters if we are hiking; then he needs pockets to carry rocks.

I’m pretty sure I could control both of their wardrobe choices by simply putting a shirt I selected on top of the pile every morning. There’s little thought given to holes or clothes that are too small. Consequently, if it has outlived its useful life in the Malcolm home, the Laundry Maven needs to take note then intercept it in the laundry cycle, or it goes directly back into the rotation.

Matching can sometimes be a challenge, but one I rarely comment on. Basically, any color t-shirt matches any color stripe on black sweat pants or shorts. I see that trend with boys around their age. If Will has a neon green shirt land jackpot with a pair of sweats having the same neon colored stripe, I might comment on how nice he looks. With his quiet response, I see a frame from a comic strip, and we are face to face. In it, I have wide open admiring eyes with a bubble that says, “Matching neon green – top and bottom!” Will has raised eyebrows with a thinking bubble saying, “T-shirt. Sweats.”

Both of the boys played a bit of golf over the summer. That required more formal attire – a belt, a collared shirt, and nice shorts. A bit of grumbling melted into acquiescence in order to chase a ball for a couple hours. It’s good for them to see there is a time and a place to dress appropriately. Though those times seem far and few between compared to 20 years ago.

When we are going out, sometimes I ask them to put on something a bit nicer. I like to see what they come up with on their own. Generally, they avoid the trousers with zippers and opt for black sweats and a collared shirt. The only suggestion I might make is a change from white to black socks, particularly if three inches of their ankles are showing.

Happy Hump Day.

hikers in the distanceHikers/rock collectors in the distance. (Summer 2017  in Vermont)



A new angel walks in heaven now

Hump Day Shorts September 9, 2017
mocha latte heart

The prep for the weekly Hump Day Short was back on track Wednesday morning after the school drop-off. Just before I put pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboard, I checked my email only to find that a good friend had died earlier that morning. We had been acquaintances for eight years as my […]

Read the rest of the story →

What is the plural of octopus?

Hump Day Shorts August 29, 2017

Since we moved out to the Boston area in 2005… …Well, that’s as far as I got last Tuesday while writing a piece titled “Chasing R’s.” It was/is/will be a commentary on the Boston accent, or rather my attempt at translating words and conversations. Last Tuesday’s writing: “Up at 5:00 a.m., I was sure this […]

Read the rest of the story →

Low Maintenance: Mulch It

Hump Day Shorts August 15, 2017
dirty feet

Last Saturday morning, I was lodged into a corner of my kitchen avoiding the 6-foot long window over my kitchen sink. It overlooks the backyard and the deck, which is the main entrance to our house. When we put an addition on five years ago, we added windows all along the back of the house […]

Read the rest of the story →

Have you laughed today?

Hump Day Shorts August 1, 2017
BW of me crossback bra

I’ve been investigating effects of the release of endorphins in the brain that result in an analgesic. Regarding this biochemical process, through my research I have deduced two analogies: one of baseball and one of an ice cream cone. In baseball, the team and fans are happiest when the pitcher makes excellent throws that result […]

Read the rest of the story →

The Gold Maple

Hump Day Shorts July 28, 2017

When we first found our property here in New England, we loved the fact that it was surrounded by maple trees. The first autumn, we filled five leaf bags and didn’t even make a dent in the piles. We needed help raking. Now every year we have a 4-hour show: a crew of five people, […]

Read the rest of the story →