This is Brother Man ... wearing his Famous Shirt. The other night he says to me, "Hey, Dad, remember when we were on are way moving from New Orleans to Boston and we stopped at that Wal-Mart in Alabama or something to buy some clothes?"
I remembered ... we had evacuated after Katrina and had only about a long weekend's worth of clothes for everybody. So we go in the store and we decide to let Jared pick out his own clothes ... must have been the first time we ever let him do so. He picked this shirt and I didn't like it. "Man," says he, "You hated that shirt." I think I did. Or perhaps what I really hated was the fact that home boy was getting older which meant that one day he won't need me to help him with such things. Anyway, I told him to put it back ... angrily, I'm sure ... but Mammacita persuaded me to let the boy have his shirt.
"Seriously, Dad -- I get compliments every time I wear that shirt ... how nice the color is, how good it looks on me." And it still does as you can see from the picture I took yesterday. Isn't it funny how, the day after we had this conversation, he went through his drawers (which he never does) and found that very shirt and wore it. He didn't say anything about it -- just put it on. Maybe it was his way of reminding me that he is growing-up. My first thought was to be flippant and say something like "well, you chose it but who paid for it." But then I thought better of it. I stopped him on his way back in from taking out the garbage and snapped this photo. "Why're you takin' my picture."
"Just 'cause," I said. "There are certain things that fathers like to remember about their sons." And there are. And now I will.