When I was a sophomore in high school, some 30ish years ago, I earned a letter jacket for marching band. I loved that jacket. I remember being a freshman and just longing for one. I wore it quite regularly sophomore, junior and senior year. It went to college with me, but what was a symbol of growing up and inclusion in high school became a symbol of high school past rather than college present.
The jacket retired to my parents basement. It remained there until we bought our first house, at which point it retired to our basement.
My girls found the jacket and asked if they could try it on.
I thought it would be cute.
It was, but not in the way I expected.
Behold, my baby girl in my once beloved jacket:
She looks good, right?
She asked if she could keep it as her winter jacket. She hugged it and petted it and pretty much treated it the way I did the first day it came into my possession. And she needed a new winter jacket for Pete's sake. We'd planned to shop for one this weekend. Win/win, right? She gets a jacket she loves, my jacket gets to be worn again (with the appropriate amount of love and respect), and - bonus - I save a chunk of change by not needing to buy her a new one.
So why am I so sad?
Well, I remember this jacket as a rite of passage, almost. It indicated to the world (in my mind, at least) that I wasn't a kid anymore. It was a symbol of a new stage of maturity and I wore it proudly. Mostly to the mall.
I suppose seeing it on Olivia forces me to realize in a very tangible way that the torch is being passed.
Enjoy the ride, baby girl.