Twas the night before Easter, the year '96, when everyone was sleeping in a cramped apartment in the sticks...
...Okay, close. It was Brooklyn. I was eleven. My father had us kids for the weekend and we were having a sleepover at his girlfriend's. We made chocolate chip cookies, made blanket-beds on the floor, caught sight of some weird man walking naked across his apartment from the barred in window...you know, the usual Easter activities. Needless to say, I wasn't having the best time in the world. I missed my mom. I missed my bed. Our brother ate the last cookie. I felt weak, vulnerable, and oh-so-little inside.
But you see, I had a secret weapon.
I had the Easter sweater.
What is this Easter sweater I speak of? For my birthday, a month before Easter, a family member had given me this sweater. It was a short-sleeved, woven sweater and it had thick colorful horizontal stripes on it (totally a great look for a chubby eleven year old, right?) I can't explain to you why, but this sweater gave me power.
Maybe it was because you couldn't see my excessive sweating in it (a side effect of my heart medication. Being an eleven year old me was awesome, no?). Maybe it was because it was bright and colorful. Maybe it was because it didn't show my stomach. But, that sweater made me feel adult. Proud. Mature.
Looking back, the sweater was atrocious. But, when I wore that sweater, with jeans, or a skirt to school, I felt good about myself. Put together, not like the usual mess I was.
Looking back, it's funny that I wore that sweater on Easter because the sweater was basically an Easter egg in sweater form. Bright horizontal Easter-colors. But, you know what? Over the years I've stayed true to my love for striped sweaters (funny, my go-to feel-good-about-myself sweater now is a tan striped sweater from Loft), and stayed true to the fact that everyone needs an "Easter sweater" they can turn into their shield, their Superman cape, and their protective Egg-Shell to make them feel strong, powerful, and most of all, not like a sweaty-eleven-year old who just wanted that last cookie.