Lex has been bugging me to take him shopping for a sports coat to wear to his fifth grade graduation tomorrow. I told him no, because I am a grumpy cheapskate, but he begged. We settled, finally, on a new vest and shirt. Tonight we finally got an evening together to go shopping, and the only vests we could find were toddler sized. There was one rack of bigger boys’ slacks and blazers, and since they were all on sale, I let him try on a black suit jacket and slacks, along with a black dress shirt that came with its very own silver and black clip-on tie.
He let me come into the dressing room with him, and I remembered that it was the very same dressing room he and Nathan and I all piled in when we shopped for the shirts and pants and ties for the boys to wear to my brother’s wedding. I ended up having to talk him into the suit jacket, because he was unimpressed with the concept of shoulder pads (I’m doing *something* right there) and he said it made him look "stiff." But, he’d just a few minutes before told me about his plan for tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow I need to leave the house early, he told me. C is going to get dropped off at our house at 7:30, and then we’re going to go to N’s house and the three of us are going to ride our old tricycles to school. Oh, I said, I thought I was going to walk you to school one last time. Oh, he said, I thought it would be a good symbol of growing up: you know, riding to school in my dress up clothes on my old trike, but all big. I looked at him, and I know it’s not right to brag on your own kid too much, but damn I was proud. Yes, yes it would be excellent, I told him. Would you mind too much if I tagged along, to take pictures? He agreed to let me, and it wasn’t begrudgingly, either. He’s happy to have me come along, and I’m even happier he’s still letting me.
So, that was how I talked him into the maybe just a scootch in the shoulders too big suit jacket: I told him it would look awesome trailing out behind him as he pedaled his trike.
After we got the clothes figured out, we went to the shoe department looking for either a new pair of checkerboard Vans to replace his current one, or a new pair of Chuck Taylors. They didn’t have checkerboard Vans, just plain black and white ones, so he went with the All-Stars. While we were looking, I found a pair of little girls’ Converse that were black with cherry-print STARS on the sides, and a little pair of cherries on the toe. W A N T !
I regularly buy my shoes in the little girls’ department, but they didn’t have those in my size on the shelves. Lex wanted to ask a sales person, but I told him that if they did have them, chances were they’d be out. He pressed the issue, and I told him that I don’t need any more shoes, and that it was time to pay up and get home. At the register, he couldn’t help himself, My mom is looking for some cherry Converse shoes, do you have them in her size?
We then spent a few fruitless minutes, looking at the same boxes with the guy. They didn’t have them, which is fine, but I found it amazingly sweet that he wanted to be sure that we’d really looked before we left.
Happy Graduation, Alex. You are a lovely young man, I love you, and you make me proud.