The Shirt

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It was our staycation week– our big “vacation” of the summer. This was it, really.


Daddy had the idea that we should give them each just a little spending money for the week. Ten dollars each. A fortune to our children. He also had the brainstorm to create a pirate hunt in the backyard. Our fearless buccaneers worked hard looking for that treasure! And there were big eyes all around at the sight of three ten dollar bills. (May I also say it was sweet as all get-out when A. told us that meant we each got six dollars since thirty split five ways is six? Sweetheart, that boy.)


Anyway, we suspected that our middle child would have her ten dollars spent before the day was out. Money runs through that girl’s hands like water. But, it turns out she only spent one single dollar at the dollar store that evening.


Later in the week, she looked long and hard at the aquarium gift shop for something to buy. She settled on a little purple cup with a dolphin on it. That set her back another dollar.


At week’s end, she was actually the child with the most dollars remaining. This was staggering, to be honest.


Our son had something in mind that he really wanted at Walmart with the money had left. He and my husband headed off in that direction.


Both the girlies wandered the ladies’ department with me, oohing and ahhing over pink and purple and striped and sequiny things. It took me several long moments before the question even occurred to me,


“C., would you like to go look at the clothes? In the girls’ department?”


“Yes!” came the immediate, excited response.


It’s like I had forgotten she’s a girl or something. :)


So, we wandered among little girls’ clothes. I asked if there was anything in particular she was looking for.


“A pink skirt” came the quick reply.


I found one rather quickly, but she didn’t actually seem interested in it.


She was biting her lower lip, eyes darting toward a back wall. I allowed my gaze to follow hers.


Hello Kitty.


Okay. There are worse things. Character-licensed clothing is more expensive, typically, and I told her so. But I don’t really object to Hello Kitty.


We ambled over and I thumbed through various t-shirts, looking for what was available in a size 6. Everything I showed her was given a lukewarm response.


Finally, I saw what she was eyeing. It took everything in my power not to burst out laughing.


“Is this what you want?” I asked, with a smile.


She looked down.


“It’s black,” she whispered.


“Yes, I can see that it’s black. That’s okay. You’re allowed to wear a black shirt. And it has white and pink on it, too.”


A shy smile bloomed. “It sparkles.”


“Yes, indeed. It sure does sparkle!”


“You wear sparkles!”


“Yep. Yep, I sure do wear sparkles. I like them.”


“Will Daddy let me get it?”


“I’m pretty positive he will, honey, but we’ll ask, okay?”


And, friends, that tiny face of hers exploded with joy. She SKIPPED to meet up with her brother and father and turned her eager face to his.


Needless to say, she got the shirt.


She wore it on the first day of school. She was so, so proud. Other girls oohed and ahhed over it. Grown-ups smiled and may have laughed to themselves a bit. But, really, it was perfect.


This… is the shirt.

Kitty. Pink bow. Glitter. Attached sequin vest.


What more could a first grade girl want?

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5 comments to The Shirt

  • Oh my goodness, I love this so much. THAT is the shirt that MY 2nd girl would pick.

    And you, my friend, are a rock star mom to go with it and not steal the joy over a sparkly vest.

    Love! (And reminded to

  • that is so precious! no kids here but my little sister definitely had some of those type of clothes. :)

  • Laraba

    Aw, that’s adorable! Some of my girls would love that shirt too!

    Our 2nd child (who is a girl) also is a spender. We’re working on the concept that money is a tool so yes, spending it is fine, but you have to realize that if you buy one expensive thing, you may not be able to buy something else at a later date. I’m a saver by nature so wisely instructing a spender takes thought and prayer.

    • I, too, am a saver by nature, Laraba, so it’s hard for me! I have a hard time understanding the “spend-y mentality”. ;) I do try to remember, though, that my best friend used to blow through money as quickly as she got it when we were teens but, now that she’s a wife and mom, she’s way more responsible. So there’s hope for my C.! ;)

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