What I saw when I bought this shirt at the fancypants consignment shop (because nothing’s good for my baby, if it’s on sale and I already have store credit) was a wall of boomboxes and musical accoutrements.
Great, I thought. It would show how we are supportive of the arts! I knew a guy who said he didn’t like music because it “interfered with his thoughts.” Such deep thoughts apparently! He was also single and I’m sure his stance colored this status because no one dates music haters.
But my son wouldn’t have this problem! He would walk into his first day of kindergarden with a shirt loudly declaring his love of music. His heart would twist into barbed circles over a little girl, an unrequited love who rejected his offerings of Oreo cookies–the “He got it at Jared’s” jewel in the lunchbox snack hierarchy.
Nathan wouldn’t say anything as inane as he didn’t like music or if he had his own bar, it would only play classical music, otherwise known as Most Boring Place Ever Bar & Grill/Internet Cafe. He would have years ahead of him where his young age and inversely sized ego allowed for phrases like, “I stopped reading the Paris Review after they rejected my poetry submission” or said least effective way to woo anyone: “Music interferes with my thoughts.”
This is kindergarden. This is a year of handwriting and storytime and line leader elections and naptime mutinies. While I worked my hardest to prepare him for this first day, as if I were going to school, I did not notice that that orange shirt with the wall of stereos is really a wall of stereos IN THE SHAPE OF A SKULL.
A SKULL! Not something sweet like Bassett hounds with heavy jowls or a map of the island of Sodor. A skull. On a five-year-old. Who is still sweet enough to hug me with a, “You’re the best mom ever,” then wraps his arms around me until his hand steals the remote control I’m trying to keep out of his reach.
And I dressed him in skull-wear because we are pro-skull. Way to go, Mom.
I’ve set him on a path of death metal fandom and flashcards that read, “‘A’ is for ‘Anarchy’.” Though I will say that this all fits Nathan’s favorite song from Thomas the Train which is surprisingly morose considering it is a show for little kids, not Children of the Corn: “Accidents happen now and again, just when you least expect. Just when you think life is okay, fate comes to collect.”