He’s decided that, throughout this entire school year, he’s only ever going to wear shorts. No pants, no jeans, no sweat pants. None. He’ll only wear shorts.
Interestingly, he’ll wear any of the above on the weekends. No worries. In fact, he was wearing pants on Friday. I know. I saw him. This restraint, this forbearance, is strictly reserved for school.
And for this reason, when I looked over at him where he sat next to me in the van this morning, I noted that the long blond hairs on his legs seemed to stand on end. The goosebumps covering his legs where they emerged from his basketball shorts were exaggeratedly prominent. He propped his feet on the dashboard and gripped his knees and wished that the engine would heat up. Quickly.
This morning wasn’t particularly cold. It might have been in the 30’s, but they were the upper thirties. We had no frost this morning.
But we have. And we will.
My grandmother used to say to me (when I stood before her wearing something that, in her opinion, wasn’t warm enough), “You make me cold just lookin’ at you.”
Now I know what she meant.
I’ve tried discussing this with him. To what end, I want to know, do you do this? Why are you torturing yourself in this manner? While I am a person who loves cold weather, I don’t like to be cold. Not for long, anyway. Why, oh intelligent son of mine, have you set such an Uncomfortable Goal for yourself? He’s not doing this with friends, or trying to impress anybody, or to assert a right. He goes long-pantsless cheerfully, willingly, and just for the heck of it.
His answer to my query? He’s challenging himself to see if he can do it.
People do this kind of thing, you know. They’ve been known to, say, walk across the country, or stay awake all night, or compete in a triathlon– just to say they did it.
My son has chosen, in the midst of basketball season and academic pressures and guitar lessons and daily chores and social engagements, to wear shorts to school all year.
I did compete in a triathlon. I am likely (even planning) to do it again. But the discomfort that brings means something beyond the discomfort itself, while wearing shorts…. I can’t figure him out, and it’s not for the first time.
But oh, how I love being his mother!