The Super Hoodie
I am her Lilliputian and she’s my Gulliver.
Nanny has read Gulliver’s Travels to us more times than I have fingers and toes. She does the voice for Gulliver, but always has me recite all of the Lilliputian lines. I take a lot of pride in having memorised each word, and am ready to leap off my mattress to boldly stand and deliver the words with the bestest boomingtastical voice I can conjure.
Trilly laughs every time I try to sound so tough in the Emperor’s lines. You’d think she’d tire of my silliness, but her laughter feeds my own, and a good many times, I’ve broken off in fits and starts of giggles myself, mimicking a six-inch-war-crazy mini-monster.
I am considerably smaller than most, but I’m not one to be trifled with. I’ll never be classed as some ditzy waif, or damsel in distress. And neither will my sister. She’s known since she was knee high to a grasshopper that she wanted to be a super special Detective Inspector. Ever since I was… well, I guess, I am still close to being knee high to a grasshopper… I’ve always just wanted to be just like my older sister. She’s what Mama calls ‘the bee’s knees’ of hip. There’s a lot of creatures’ knees around my world. In fact, I used to dream about them. Tall bees that could kick a ball a thousand thousand miles and then collect all the nectar for a boatload of honey shipped right to my front door. I can just imagine how yummy it would taste, all warm from the sun and oozy-gooey-drippy-sticky mess all over the floor and table and my fingers and on my new canvas sneakers. Parentals would not like that, but the sneaks will wash just fine.
I doubt I will have touched the stairs up to our shared bedroom once before my tenth birthday, especially if my sister has a say in the matter. Not that I expect others to carry me around like Queen Nefertiti of the Apartment. It’s because of the super hoodie of awesometasticness. Just like Linus with his blanket, my sister and I have our super hoodie. It is far more than just a piece of clothing to wear. It binds us together, and we won’t wear it solo. It’s a team jumper.
The hoodie itself came from the closet in the our parental’s room, long before the time I was learning to walk. My body didn’t grow the same way most kids have developed, so I wasn’t able to walk properly until long after I was speaking and reading.
The picture on the front of the hoodie is mostly covered by the special add-on piece of old soft fuzzy dark brown blanket I used to get swaddled in, but you can still see most of the letters in “Loyalty” and “Duty” and we know the rest of the words that are faded or hidden by the additional fabric. “Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Service” in a circle around the crest of the Police Academy in the centre of the chest area. The hoodie was our Mama’s first piece of police clothing, but not the only one she still has in her dressing room. I can tuck inside the front pouch facing forward, as my older sister wears the hoodie otherwise normalishly when she’s home from school.
This hoodie is the only thing she has ever sewn so far as I know. My sister spent hours measuring and cutting and reinforcing all the seams. If it is in the wash, I’m be perched on her left shoulder.
Mama is even more in love with the hoodie now. She’s told me so on more than one occasion. She wasn’t as happy about it the first time she saw what had become of it though.
“She’s not a joey!” Our Mama hollered at my sister the first time we tried out the hoodie pouch. Mama had heard my happy squeals of delight, while my sister raced down the stairs without care or concern for our safety. I trust her with everything in me, and she never gives me pause for that sacred gift. She is my sister, but she’s also my friend.
The first time we went to the park in our super hoodie, we had every kid in the playground circling us, asking their silly and sometimes mean questions. Some kids were kind though, and asked my sister about the hoodie itself. I just wanted to ignore all of them and go on the swings.
I love the swings in that super hoodie. I am lighter than a feather, and I am freer than any bird could wish to be. I feel my sister’s heartbeat against my left shoulder blade, and the warmth of her body. That’s a lot of warm, because she’s always super hot in that super hoodie. I feel badly that I can’t run and play like the other kids, but she never minds their jeers and nasty nasty wordals of meanness.
“Fly my Lilliputian, fly free,” she whispers happily in my ear as she sits down on the swings.
“Gulliver, take me to the moon please!” I answer back, and we both giggle in our harmonious way. Mama says that when my sister and I talk to one another, it is like a song that is being sung, because of how we connect and interact.
I know not all sibs get along. My own sis and I have had our share of rows as well. Sure, we’ve had plenty of dustups. First person I ever yelled at was her. She had it coming too, thinking she could try to keep me from going to school with the other kids. Hindsight tells me she was being rightfully protective. The ‘me’ of then would have added “way way way over” to that. Not much has changed since last year, and now I have a private home tutor for school. I know she’s right about how I need to be so careful, and I’m not forgetting the meanness from the playground or the park kids. I sometimes wish I could be normal, but then she reminds me that normal sized kids don’t get to have super hoodies with their older sisters.
I love our super hoodie. I wriggle into it the first night after it has been through the wash, and sleep in the part she wears. I can feel the pilling fleece inside, and it feels like love and hope and happiness and memories and protection and goodness. It makes me want to hug Mama and my sister. It’s the best piece of clothing I could ever share. I know I’m going to outgrow it, probably in the next year or so, but for now, I am so so so happy that I get to have this silly little jumper with a hood and a pouch that my sister and I wear together.
*revised after taking reflecting on the various critiques*