Ode to Clothes: Adored Onesie

Drawing by Stephanie Hepburn

Is there a piece of clothing you’ve had for years and treasure? Share your story with us. Send to info@shopgoodcloth.com.

You wander out, proudly having gotten dressed all by yourself. I’m not sure how you pulled it over your round belly, but you managed. Now you’re concerned because you can’t snap the bottom, which makes sense because it’s a onesie and you’re three-years-old. I’m amused that you dug deep into your clothing drawer to find this relic. Its soft, thin cotton with the word ADO(RED)* stretching across your abdomen, no less real than when you wore it last.

The onesie first belonged to your sister. Her tiny, wiggly infant body barely filled it, but your father bought it just for her, and we couldn’t wait to see her in it. She was our first, and we were novices—excited and terrified by what lay ahead. I had folded it with the adored lettering face up, placing it delicately in the drawer with a sense of fiction. Disbelief that I would produce a real human being; that this quiet space would soon fill with wonderment and sleepless, tiptoeing chaos.

Five-and-a-half years your senior, by the time you came around, our girl had moved on to doctor costumes and gymnastics uniforms. When I learned you were on your way, I pulled the red onesie from its packed away state; handwashing it and folding it in a drawer just for you. I placed the letters adored face up in the drawer as I had done before.

You ask me to snap together the bottom, and I tell you that you’re too big and it’s too small, but you’re having none of it. I mention cutting it so that you can wear it as a shirt. You’re appalled by the suggestion. “No, no, no,” you say. We travel the day, people wondering why I forced my toddler into a onesie whose metal snaps are adorning his midline, the stretch not unlike an adult who unbuttoned his pants after a meal. I receive a few comments and respond with a shrug and smile. I don’t explain that you wouldn’t take it off, that it makes you happy and really, that’s all that matters. You’re adored, and you know it.

*(RED) is a company founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver. It partners with large brands and people to fight AIDS; it contributes up to 50% of profits to the Global Fund.

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