Finally, one of my kids has turned out to be a Calvin & Hobbes fan and was excited when I offered to pass my Calvin & Hobbes sweatshirt to her. This is my sweet daughter, Alyssa wearing the sweatshirt that has great sentimental value to me, and now to her. Not only is it depicting one of the greatest comic strips of the 20th century, but it’s a true one-of-a-kind. I know this because I painted it 25 years ago. That’s right. I painted it with fabric pencils and fabric paint, from one of my favorite Calvin & Hobbes strips from a Sunday paper from around that time.
I was very proud of the sweatshirt after completion and wore it a time or two, but then I washed it and it shrunk. After that, I kept it protected in a drawer, and then when I got married, it stayed packed away in a box. By then, my plan was to pass it on to one of my kids. When my son was big enough, I tried giving it to him. He politely said, “Thanks Dad”, and tucked it away in one of his drawers, where it stayed for three more years. Eventually, I took the sweatshirt back from him realizing it deserved better. I wasn’t sure if I would sell it on Ebay or save it for something better. I ended up doing nothing except burying it deep within a box of unwanted clothes in my attic. It stayed there 2 or 3 more years and I forgot what happened to it. Recently I was thinking about it and, sadly, I wondered if we had sold it or given it to Goodwill.
Then, this weekend when my wife and I were going through our things looking for stuff we could sell at a garage sale I came across my prized sweatshirt. I was thrilled to find it again. My wife was ready to put it in the “to sell” pile, but I grabbed it because a new thought had popped into my head. My daughter Alyssa, an avid reader who has read 2/3rds of the Library’s Young Readers section, had recently discovered Calvin & Hobbes. She started with one of my old book collections, and then brought a 2nd collection book home from the library. I could tell she was a true Calvin & Hobbes believer. Sure, Alyssa is only 10 years old and small for her age. It didn’t matter. A true Calvin & Hobbes fan would appreciate the sweatshirt. When I presented it to her, I could see the excitement in her eyes. Even though it was too big for her, she loved it instantly. That’s the reaction that I’d hoped for. Now I know that all the love and hard work I put into that sweatshirt wasn’t a waste. I did it for Alyssa.