About 1 and ½ years ago a pair of Joshua's favorite pants ripped at the knee. Not a surprise for a 3 year old's pants to tear! As I prepared to think about turning them into shorts or getting rid of them, Joshua implored me to keep them as they were so he could keep wearing them. He even dubbed them his "tearing pants." Unsure of the "right" answer, I kept them and he LOVED wearing them even more with the tear. Then, came the pant leg of his favorite construction vehicle pajamas. Then his "blue stripe" pants. Even a pair of my jeans and Jeremy's! Tearing pants became an actual "thing" in our house. It was an incredibly exciting day, when we all wore our tearing pants.
As time has gone on, the original tearing pants got too small, the pajama tearing pants got so torn the whole leg came off, and both my and Jeremy's jeans ended up tearing in places that demanded we get rid of them. The blue stripe pants, and just recently, the grey stripe pants are the only "tearing" pants for now (but, even they are growing increasingly smaller).
After my amusement of Joshua's enthusiasm about wearing his tearing pants wore off, I began to wonder: should I let him wear pants with (sometimes large) rips in them, especially to school or events with friends? Honestly, part of me felt a little embarrassed about it; but, then I remembered my pair of tearing pants.
When I was in early grade school, I had a pair of jeans that, for whatever reason, I LOVED. I wanted to wear them everyday. Eventually, they became ripped at the knees and frayed at the cuffs (unfortunately "tight-rolling" pants was not in vogue yet, so I could not hide the frays). When the tears got bigger, my mom turned them into shorts and I still continued to wear them everyday. There was even a short period after a fire safety film at school which consisted mostly of very scary footage of large building being engulfed in flames that I demanded to wear clothes to bed in case I had to escape from a fire in the middle of the night. You guessed it, my tearing pants!
Those pants/shorts me made me feel safe, secure, and COMFY in a world about which I was unsure, that kept changing, and was sometimes scary. Even as adults, I bet we all have a favorite old sweatshirt or pajamas that have seen better days but remain in our closets. These bring about a COMFY feeling without us even realizing it when we need a little extra COMFY in the day (or night).
Making this connection to Joshua's tearing pants, I realized that everything around him (including the clothes he continually grows out of) is constantly changing, growing, coming, going. No wonder he wants to hold onto something that is COMFY, something that he associates with a fun time, a cozy morning, or a messy day at play.
What do you keep around which keeps you COMFY?
How do you handle change?