I haven’t started keeping track. That would make me feel much too anal. But it has not gone unnoticed that the number of pieces of little boys’ pants that die a death by holing (hole—ing, the word hole, used as a verb) is more than the average demographic—in my house and possibly yours. There are days I pull not one but two items from a single load of laundry that have the likes of bullet holes through their fragile material. And with the number of times I’ve seen Toy Story and its realistic representation of the life of toys and their true feelings, I realized that little boys’ pants have a movie that has not been written either.
It’s the story of fabric shipped to those small sweat shops that I like to refer to periodically when my children are complaining about their workload. It’s the story of the fabric trying to run from the room where they sew little boys’ pants. It’s about the fabrics that run about at night turning themselves into rolls of satin and dipping themselves in the brightest and daintiest shades of pink while the slower, thicker materials who are beige or brown or black or blue are stamped with little stamps that say “Transformers” or “Thomas the Train”. Those are the materials that couldn’t make it to the little girls’ clothes room in time. They weren’t fancy enough to be considered for the clothes of little creatures who hate to mess their pants or spill on their beautiful costumes. At this moment, these “boy” materials begin to break and become hardened as they train for the short lives ahead of them as little boys’ pants. They will be sent to places like “Old Navy” or “Target” where they will be sold to mothers who are seeking a bargain since they know the pants will only live a week, a month, a day…. (moment of silence and respect please).
The “boy” materials are run through the sweat shops with no special care and put on shelves and sent home with the snotty nosed little boys with freckles on his nose. Boys who are already yelling in the stores mentioned, because mom is taking away the little red lollipop and wiping dirty hands on the pants he has on. Perhaps there are bubbles in his pockets as it becomes obvious he is carrying a snake or frog in his pocket, who is likely blowing those bubbles (I couldn’t come up with an appropriate activity for a pocket frog or snake, so blowing bubbles it is). The pants stare at the tiny princess sister who sings and laughs through the store, asking her mother whether she has a tissue to wipe her sweaty little princess hands on. And they feel their destinies closing in on them. They yearn to be pink, to be cherished, to be little girls’ dresses.
But unfairly, off they go, still to the homes of those naughty little boys. They are worn and abused and used for things pants should not be used for, to cover the bathroom floor, to catch throw-up or kick another child. They coat the legs of little beasts, who run through mud and fall off bikes and cover themselves with ketchup, slime and spaghetti sauce for no reason at all.
And yet every once in awhile, there is a little boy who, though wild and untamed, who makes a pair of pants very happy, whose laugh is intoxicating, whose tricks on his little brother are inspiring and whose dirty deeds are meant for good. And those, those are the pants who have gotten lucky in a tough world. Those are the pants that believe in a tomorrow, who know when their lives end, they shall have ended in keeping a little butt hidden during a happy and beautiful childhood.
Yes, those are the things we will think about today. We shall be grateful for all little pants who give their lives, to both naughty boys and inspiring boys. We shall have a moment of silence for those who die unnecessarily to scissors and glue guns, and stains from ‘god knows what’, but we shall also give a shout to the pants who love their job and who do it with joy in their hearts.
To little boys’ pants!