Thursday, November 6, 2014

Why I Wear a Ratty Cardigan

My house has zero storage space. It was built in the twenties when people had two sets of clothing. Work clothes and Sunday clothes. What else did you need?

Now it’s pushing the twenties again and we have very different ideas of necessary clothes. But that need hasn’t changed the closet space. So I try to weed through my clothes at least twice a year. Last spring when I was packing away my winter clothes, I put a ratty, nearly buttonless cardigan on a throwaway pile. My 18 year old son saw it.

“You aren’t throwing that out,” he said. It was a statement not a question. It turns out that the very sight of that cardigan comforts him. I wore it a lot when he was little (we were really poor and I couldn’t afford one—this one had been a gift) and spent hours rocking him. He was pretty severely autistic and when the suffering was at its worst, I’d rock and hold him.

So he handed the cardigan back to me and asked me to wear it more often. My heart melted (of course). And I promised to wear it. So if you see me wearing a raveling, late-eighties-styled cardigan that only has one button remaining, you’ll know why. I love my son.

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