Friday, May 18, 2012

Footie PJs

I love that the boys are still small enough to wear footie pajamas. I love footie PJs. I refuse to cut the feet off of their footie PJs because, let’s be honest, they have so many clothes that it’s not like we’re trying to make things last and last and last. The grandparents are ridiculously generous, and we get loads of hand-me-downs from friends. So, we don’t need PJs so badly that I would destroy perfectly good clothing. AND, I’ve always wanted some. Now, lest you believe that I was completely deprived or raised by a troupe of platypuses (platypi?), I did have some. Once. So, I wasn’t COMPLETELY deprived, but one pair just isn’t enough. And, in all fairness to my parents, there may have been more that I don’t remember, but the ONE PAIR that I do remember, I remember well. Fine. I remember them sort of well. I remember that they were footie PJs, and I loved them. I think that they were red with a zipper (instead of snaps – which, none of the footie PJs today come with snaps after the age of about six months. I find that odd.). Yeah. Zipper. What I TOTALLY remember is that they were too small. Maybe they fit nicely at one point, but I get the feeling that they did not. I think that by the time I got them, they were already too small, but I wanted some so badly that I just didn’t care. (Kind of like the cowboy boots that I got with the eagles on them. They were so bitchin’, but they were too small and HURT my feet. I did it to myself, though, so I didn’t complain – even once – and I wore them the entire year. I was older for the boot incident. The footie PJs? I was pretty young. Four? Five?) Oh, my goodness. Stick to the story, right? So, I think that I’ve mentioned that my dad wasn’t always the greatest guy. Thankfully, he has significantly mellowed in the past 15 years. He usually provided for us, and he usually supported us, and we usually knew that we were loved. (And, no – this is not a post about bashing him or making him look bad to strangers on the internet. He made some mistakes. He parents made some mistakes when raising him. He works hard, and then he plays hard. He fell in with the wrong crown as a teen – or maybe he WAS the wrong crowd. Who knows? It doesn’t really matter anymore. He’s a good dad, and he’s a good papa. I believe that he has paid for the mistakes that he made. If not, I’m sure that he will pay for them – a little bit at a time. BUT, this does have something to do with my footie PJs, I swear.) Back to those PJs…. We had a system in our neighborhood. Well, not “we,” per se – more like the women. They all looked out for my mom because, like I said, dad wasn’t always shits and giggles. We never used the front door. We always used the door that opened into the kitchen. Everyone did. So, if the porch light to the FRONT door was on, the neighbors knew that there was trouble brewing. I don’t really know what more the “system” entailed, to be honest. I know that my three older siblings were responsible to turn the light on when they got old enough to make the determination. I know that I was never that old. I don’t know if my mom sometimes turned it on, although I doubt it since she was usually trying to fend off abuse or get us out of the room and to our beds. Perhaps the women of the neighborhood send their husbands over to distract dad? Perhaps someone called Grandma and Grandpa (his parents) who just lived two-ish blocks away? Perhaps they just called the cops immediately? Like I said, I was still a bit too young, so I don’t think that I knew all of the implications and the level of concern. Anyway….. One particular night, it was the police that showed up. Of course, dad started to apologize, but it was too late, and they told him so. They even cuffed him, but they did give him a chance to tell us goodbye since he would presumably be gone for at least a day/night. It was late, and I remember being tired, but not crying in spite of the ruckus. I’m guessing that my oldest brother and my sister ignored the chance to say goodbye because their relationships with him were always really rocky. The brother just older than me probably did say goodbye, and he probably had quite a cry about it since he would have been nine or ten and very close to dad. I really only remember my goodbye. He wanted to hug me, so someone (him?) lifted me up to sit me on his lap. My legs were straddling his knee. My footie PJs were too small, remember? Well, they were tight and not long enough, so as I sat on his knee, those PJs ripped in the crotch and right down the seam to the footies on each leg. Finally, I cried. Inconsolable, I was. Any other footie PJs that I was offered from then on always had the feet cut off and were pretty well worn. I never wore them. I would rather sleep in my jeans or a starchy, ruffled, itchy dress. I wanted the PJs WITH the feet, and I was mad at him for years for tearing the only pair that I ever had WITH feet. I don’t know what all of that means, but I think about it almost every single time I put footie PJs on our own boys. And, I know that I will never cut the feet off of a pair that they have.

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