Last week, I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone with my 7th grade class (sadly, most of them have yet to try out this amazing book series) and we broke off into a discussion about hand me downs…
In the novel, Harry rarely is given anything new. He is constantly being handed down used belongings- including clothing that is often too big, over worn, or just not his style. Which led to several students sighing in agreement, and frustration, that they too are often handed down things from their older siblings when they are done with them.
This made me think back to my childhood…As the middle child, and just a year and half younger than my older sister, I was often at the receiving end of her hand me downs. It drove me insane…we definitely had different styles, she was more sporty to my girlie, but it just didn’t seem to matter.
I can remember one morning when I was a little and my mom produced the ugliest shirt I had ever seen in my life that my sister had grown out of. It was the texture of long underwear, 3/4 inch sleeves, a starched collar held closed with three large, yellow buttons. The shirt was covered in geometric patters- circles, squares, triangles- scribbled in with the primary colors of the rainbow. It was horrible…ugly…itchy…and NOT my style.
My mom refused to listen to reason, or the tantrum and foot stomping that ensued in protest. Thus, resulting in me wearing the shirt…for a few moments at least. That quickly changed as I hurried down to eat my breakfast and “accidently” spilled orange juice all over the front. “Oops, I guess I cant’ wear this shirt now,” I remember telling my mom trying to hide my smug smile. She was furious…ordered me upstairs with the promise of cleaning it so I could wear it another day. Unfortunately, the shirt just happened to rip (okay…this may have been intentional), as I was “carefully” removing it from my body.
Needless to say, that horrible shirt quickly found itself hidden in the bottom of the trashcan…no longer wearable to my relief.
After a time, my mom stopped trying to force me into my sister’s old clothes-understanding that we were two very different individuals with our own style…Too bad Harry’s aunt and uncle never afforded him the same understanding!