When he was little he’d let his brothers do whatever they wanted, so this.

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Then he grew a bit and changed his mind about that. He wasn’t as willing to be the canvas upon which they expressed their creativity. He decided to have a say in it all, to be his own man, and he didn’t let them do whatever they wanted anymore.

Now he wears his hair short because long hair bugs him.

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He wears his jeans baggy and his sweaters wooly because that’s what makes him feel comfortable. And his socks are wool too and they fit just right into his knee-high water-proof, snow-proof, barn-proof, fashion-proof camouflage boots. And that old green army surplus jacket handed down from his older brother to finish the ensemble.

He’s completely fine with how he looks. He couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks.

I think I’m that way, too, until I’m standing in the Southland Mall in the city and every other woman there is wearing black leggings tucked into fashion boots.

I look down at my non-skinny jeans and my actual winter boots for, you know, winter… and I want to run to the nearest Aldo’s or Gap’s or wherever they get the cool clothes from and beg them to help me. To please make me look like everyone else.

Then I see him walking toward me with his dad, and he’s all bebopping along to the music in his head and I remember I helped him be that confident in himself and I creep back slowly from the peer-pressure ledge I was about to jump from.

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