On occasion, I am particularly struck with how different a life experience it is to be a 13 year old boy versus a 13 year old girl. Case in point: clothes for school. In every free minute of his life, JT's clothing of choice is a combination of athletic shorts and a t-shirt of one of his favorite sports teams. Come back-to-school, this is a wardrobe option that won't pass the dress code. So he reverts to khakis and polo shirts, the least restrictive of the dress code requirements at our school.
Around this time of year, I catch sight of him strolling the halls at school and realize that it's time for new pants. As opposed to me at 13, the idea of buying clothes, let alone trying them on at an actual store, is JT's idea of misery. He prefers for new clothes to be selected by someone else and then made to magically appear in his closet, ready to be worn to school. Having been through the hell that is shopping with JT, I am inclined to support his preference that new clothes just appear.
Alas, I must know what size he wears in order to facilitate this process. Typically, I take a guess at his next size up and leave some new pants on his bed with instructions to try them on. If that size will work, I buy more. If not, I exchange them for a different size. This year, I realized that an assortment of pants sizes and brands were in his closet. I needed JT to try some of the old ones on in order to make an accurate guess as to his next size. So I set out a few of his old pants and asked him to try them on so I could gauge the necessary size. He did just that and then brought me a pile of pants that no longer fit. He's had these pants for over a year, and some for even longer. Like all pants that he has owned for more than two weeks, they are worn in spots, stained at the knee, and generally just this side of complete disrepair. But my boy brought them to me and cheerfully announced, "none of these new pants will fit, Mama."