When I was a kid, a cousin of mine gave me a sweatshirt. It came from Renssalear College. It was baby blue, and when I was nine years old, it fit me just fine. I know that it came to me second hand, so it had to be many years old before I got my hands on it. That sweatshirt became a favorite. It was my extra layer of choice for several summers. I wore it until the sleeves began to ride upon my forearms, and my back would be left exposed when I bent over. I loved it enough not to let it go. Can I explain my attachment? The fact that I cannot remember for certain which cousin gave me the shirt in the first place tells me that it wasn't necessarily a sentimental concern, but it became one.
That's why I had to smile when I read that David Witthoft finally shunned his Brett Favre jersey for a red shirt for the first time in one thousand five hundred and eighty one days. The twelve-year-old Ridgefield, Connecticut boy wore the number 4 jersey every day since receiving it as a gift for Christmas in 2003. David's father conceded his son was starting to become more concerned about his appearance after the jersey barely came down to his belt line. I can relate. While I didn't make a daily habit of wearing the Rennsalear sweatshirt, I'm sure that my parents often shook their heads in wonder.
My son has a pair of pajamas that he started wearing at age four. He has to be reminded that they aren't exactly "sleepover" PJs anymore. They have a pretty substantial tear in one knee, and they make him appear even more gigantic than his nearly eleven years have allowed. I don't have it in me to suggest that we be rid of them. They were hand-me-downs from his cousin. Someday I believe they might just evaporate off his body, but for now, they're just that part of his wardrobe that gets to stick around not because of how they look, but how they feel on the inside.