A Terrible Shirt

We were led back to the radiology department, but first Jedi needed to change his shirt. You can’t wear buttons for an x-ray and the doctor wanted to make sure the wheezing in his chest wasn’t any more serious than the need for an asthma inhaler. As such, he first had to disrobe into a gown. The sight of which flashed back to when he spent a week in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

I helped him remove his button-collar shirt and went about sifting through the stack of familiar hospital gowns for one in blue. For a boy who is growing ever more concerned with his appearance, this still bordered on disastrous. I at least wanted him to have his favorite color, though nothing would have been enough to make it fashionable.

“Oh this is embarrassing”, Jedi whispered as I tied the strings in back.

“It’s fine. Look, it’s blue!”, I tried to reassure.

With a sigh, we went to sit to wait his turn. An attempt was made to take his mind off the necessary style catastrophe, but he wasn’t about to be swayed. A marked difference from when he was at the hospital in August 2010 and didn’t even notice what he was wearing, or really where he was.

“This shirt is terrible”, my 8 going on 16 year old sulked. “It doesn’t match my pants. It doesn’t match my socks. It doesn’t match my shoes. It doesn’t match my face. It doesn’t match my personality.”

Later, Jedi admitted, “You know, this shirt is kind of comfortable”, as we’re getting ready to go home. “But it’s still terrible.” And it was, but garments are easily changed and forgotten. It’s the memories that catch you.


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