The Power of the Sweatshirt

I am the woman of many temperatures right now and I find myself reaching for and/or discarding a sweatshirt many times throughout the day.  Today during a cold moment, I grabbed my old standby sweatshirt and put it on.  To say that this sweatshirt has seen better days would be a gross understatement.This sweatshirt needs to be, in fact deserves to be, in the trash. This zip up Russell Athletic sweatshirt circa the mid 90's has literally been on fire (more on that later).
But yet, I continue to wear it around the house and occasionally

I have no explanation.  I certainly have other sweatshirts. I have purchased new zip up ones to take its place.  Other family members have purchased ones for me in the hopes that I would retire the out of fashion, stained, and burn marked one.  However, I still reach for that one.  I'm a practical girl and there are legitimate reasons I keep it around.  It is roomy and most current replacement sweatshirts go with a more fitted silhouette.  When I am relaxing around the house I am not look for a flattering fitted silhouette, I am looking for comfort! It is also made of good old fashioned sweatshirt fleece, not polar tech fleece or some other kind of static charged fleece that attracts dog hair as soon as I put it on. It is free from the annoying band on the bottom that makes every zip up sweatshirt seem too short. It is also the perfect weight- enough to keep me warm, but not enough to make me overheat.

As with any old piece of clothing that we hold onto, there are reasons beyond the practical.  I'm sure with effort I could find a suitable replacement that would check many of the boxes.  But, the new sweatshirt wouldn't come with the history.  This garment has been my friend.  Its loose, boxy shape had never judged me when my size or shape changed.  It has been with me through pregnancies, post pregnancies, and multiple body changes.  it is never too big or too small.  It has been the sweatshirt conveniently hung on the back of a door or a chair so it is easy for me to grab when I need to make a quick trip outside.  Its comforting weight has been with me through sickness and health, happiness and grief.  It has been the the one I wore when rocking babies to sleep, making Christmas cookies with my girls, basting the Thanksgiving turkeys, painting rooms, planting gardens, and moving to different homes.  It has brought comfort to new places in the way that only a constant friend can. I've done a lot of life with this non-descript article of clothing.  Even the embarrassment that comes with being caught outside wearing it hasn't been enough to make me give it up for good!

About 8 years ago, I was making dinner while wearing my sweatshirt- nothing out of the ordinary. Except at some point, I must have leaned too close to the flame and my sweatshirt caught on fire. As I tried to put the fire out, my family sat at the kitchen table and did NOTHING. Nothing to see here, just mom on fire in the kitchen!! In what has become a disputed piece of family history, I put the fire out myself and continued to put dinner on the table while my family laughed at me for catching myself on fire. My family remembers their reaction differently, but I know I put out the fire and I'm pretty sure I'm right about the rest :-).

So, I have literally walked through the fire with the comfiest of zip up sweatshirts.  How could I possibly walk away now? If you happen to see me outside wearing what only can be described as a hot mess of a sweatshirt, just smile and try not to judge. Maybe this little sweatshirt is my sign to the world that it's ok for everything not to be perfect, that despite appearances we all have a few holes in us, and that we all have moments where we have to walk through the fire and usually we live to tell about it.  I don't know if a humble little sweatshirt can send hope and comfort into the world, but I think it can- at least it has for me :-). 

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