T-Shirts Over Time
By Hally Franz –
Girls like bling; boys like t-shirts. Specifically, my 13-year-old son loves his t-shirts. He’s amassed quite a number of them over his double-digit lifespan, many of which I have retained for posterity. Early endeavors into Tae Kwon Do and soccer are commemorated with t-shirts, as are more recent seasons of Khoury League baseball. There are 4-H club and camp t-shirts, as well as drama club shirts. And, he rotates four VBS shirts in blue, green, yellow and purple on Sundays when I allow jeans for services.
Ivan attends a Christian school, and, of course, he believes the school’s modified dress code is horribly restrictive. So, when given an opportunity to buy an item of clothing, he’s likely to choose yet another t-shirt. The elective t-shirt purchases will typically reflect one of two themes: anything country/cowboy or St. Louis Cardinals.
I have seen moms hang their kids’ t-shirts on display at high school graduation parties, and I’ve heard that awesome quilts can be made from your graduate’s childhood shirts. Maybe that’s what I’ll do when 2016 arrives. It would be a terrific souvenir of what my son has done, what he likes and where he’s been at the age of 18.
It makes me wonder, though, what Ivan’s shirts would say about his activities, interests and experiences after he leaves our home. What phrases will sum up his adult life?
One cotton favorite might read “married the girl that God made just for me.” Perhaps, he’ll don a tee with the words “took my son and others on a mission trip this summer” or “faced some tough decisions at work, but Jesus gave me wisdom.” As seasons pass, Ivan may wear shirts that tell how he “faced grief, but God granted mercy and strength in pain” or how he “celebrated when the youngest completed a college education.”
Many young people will complete high school or college this year. We’ll celebrate their accomplishments and encourage them as they enter a new phase of life. The future can be scary and there will be struggles for these young people, but hopefully they will each move forward with their Heavenly Father at their side.
My boy isn’t there yet, but it is time to order another shirt. This one is our 2011 VBS shirt. The theme is “Stepping Up to the Plate for Jesus.” That’s one he’s going to love!
PRAYER: Mighty and merciful God, place your loving, guiding hand on those young people who draw to a close one period of their lives to begin other phases. Bless them with your wisdom and protection.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV).