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My Wannabee Kimono


I’m wearing it now, the coolest thing to don in 92 degree heat, after a shower

I used to call it a kimono, but that was a little high falutin’, truth be told.

My wannabe kimono has been with me for over forty five years. I know what house I lived in when I first wore it; when my children, now nearing fifty, were toddlers.

Made of a lightweight cotton fabric, it is now as thin and soft as a worn out hanky. It’s muted flower pattern in tones of aqua, white, and pale burgundy, is trimmed with narrow, silky ribbons running down the front and, on the kimono-like sleeves. The pattern faintly resembles something akin to lilies, and is faded, as I am.

But each year, I am happy to greet it again, like an old friend that shows up, happy to greet the summer.

There are no buttons, never were, just a matching cotton tie that holds it together. The tie reveals more telltale changes. Now, the ends hang shorter when it is tied; I have widened where I never thought I would. Mysteriously, the inside string ties are no longer at my waist level.

I wore this robe when I held my babies at breakfast time. When I shooed them out to the yard to play. I was wearing it when I chased my son across the front lawn one morning after he slipped out the front door in his diaper and headed for the road.

This is the robe I packed when I took them and we left that house, never to go back.

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