Bopa's Shirt

The men in my life all wear Hawaiian shirts. Always have. Father, godfather, husband, and now son.

Fortunately all these guys have pretty good taste in their florals, and generally leave the dress socks and sandals behind. (Hayden, of course, doesn't have much experience with socks at all. So that's one battle I don't have to fight.)

When my father visited in February, he wore a shirt that featured vintage cars dancing amongst the palm trees.

Hayden loved that shirt. "Bopa!" he would say when Dad wore it, pointing. "Truhk!" It was like he had found a kindred spirit in his Grandfather, one who understood the supremacy of moving vehicles in a two-year-old's world vision.... and in his wardrobe.

After my parents left, Hayden remembered Bopa's shirt the next time that Mike put on one of his own Tommy Bahama's.

"Bopa?" he asked questioningly, as if this uniform would make his Grandpa reappear.

Last week, Delaney asserted her personal sense of style by demanding to pick out a "dess" to wear. The babies' few "nice" clothes (things other than shorts, skorts and tees) hang in a closet off of their bathroom. Periodically, Delaney likes to take inventory and try on something new.

On this trip to the closet, Hayden followed, saying "Me Dess?" I started to tell him, "No, you don't have any dresses," but then decided just to let it go. The whole "difference between boys and girls" thing is complicated enough with b/g twins who bathe together.

But to my surprise Hayden found something hanging in the back of the closet that made him forget all about the dresses. He spotted a gift-to-grow-into from Meme (Grandma) that had been hanging there for a while: a Hawaiian shirt dotted with cars, just his size.

"BOPA!" he yelled. He had found a friend.

He hasn't worn anything else since. This shirt has become harder to clean than his blanket.

And while Delaney happily strips off one outfit in order to try on another, over and over, Hayden is showing fierce loyalty to his shirt.

My little man.

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