Here’s the thing about a hoodie. If it’s special like mine, you can pretty much conquer the world in it. You refuse to see the stains on it and it doesn’t matter how big it is on you. It keeps you safe like armour and acts like a security blanket with a convenient pocket in the front. No matter how many years go by, no matter how worn it gets, your special hoodie will never let you down. Mine certainly hasn’t.
Not 4 years ago, when it still smelled enough of MiniSir that I stuffed a pillow into it and hugged it through the night, wishing I were in Medicine Hat with him, rather than Kingston without him.
Not 3 years ago, when I would get up and put it on every morning (or sometimes early afternoon) while every broken part of me screamed in protest at the action. Still not then, when chilled to the bone in the night, even on warm nights, I would put the sweater on over my pjs and crawl under the sheets, pain killers and anti-psychotics pumping through my veins so I could sleep.
Not 2 years ago, when, after we moved and married in one whirlwind summer, I saw my husband for 7 days in a two month period and came to the realization that him being an officer back at the regiment meant something completely different than being an officer posted into a staff position.
Not a year ago when I waited and waited for him to finally be done in the field while puking my guts out and watching cartoons to cope with being pregnant on my own. Plus it was downright necessary the week when everything in my closet stopped fitting at once and I dragged the sweater on over my too-tight shirt to finally go shopping for maternity clothes.
Or earlier this year when I was so tired from being a new mother that it was the only thing that held me up some days.
And it hasn’t let me down this week either, when events have left the military community shocked and saddened, and everyone feeling just a little vulnerable. I wore it to a fellow military spouse’s house on Thursday and she asked if I had put it on because I just needed a little extra comforting. I hadn’t even realized it, but I had. I had needed that extra layer that it gave me, that armour with a hug inside it. I knew my husband was safe at work, and in my hoodie, I was safe too.
That’s the thing about a great sweater. When he asks me how my day is going and I say, “I’m wearing your hoodie”, he knows he’ll need to give me some extra hugs, for one reason or another. And it won’t matter to him because he knows he can’t ever be replaced by a piece of clothing.
Because even though being in his hoodie is great, being in his arms is better.