52 Weeks of Brotherhood: The One with Non-Matching 4th of July Shirts

4th of July Boys

Remember the days when the boys dressed in whatever I purchased and planned for special events? Yeah.

It’s not that they dislike the clothes I spend hard-earned money on or refuse to wear whatever I’ve picked for Easter or Christmas. They’re pretty good about family pictures and main holidays, dressing in whatever I set out on their beds. But the 4th of July doesn’t feel like a main holiday, apparently, because when I arrived at Nina’s house to pick them up after an overnight, neither kid wore what I planned for the 4th of July.

Now, to be fair, I didn’t purchase anything new for the boys this year. I did look at 4th of July shirts this year. I found a number of options the boys might have liked, unique and fun ones in additional to the traditional Old Navy flag which we’ve also done in previous years. But here’s the thing: White shirts + fun treats on the 4th of July + my children = instantly and forever stained shirts. I hate buying the boys white shirts. Retailers need to think about how much fun it is to roll down a hillside or eat a Bomb Pop or how often barbequed chicken really lands on your kids’ shirts.

Instead I sorted through their drawers and found a red-white-and-blue shirt for BigBrother that featured a cat in space. I paired it with some navy blue shorts. For LittleBrother, I found one of BigBrother’s hand-me-down red-white-and-blue airplane shirts from the 4th a few years ago and paired it with some gray shorts to match the fighter jets. When I arrived to pick them up, BigBrother was wearing the same gray shark shirt from the day before while LittleBrother wore the shirt but a pair of shorts that didn’t match at all.

I did make mention of it, but I didn’t ask either boy to change. Because why?


It didn’t matter. No one at the fireworks in town would look at my sons and say, “Well, there’s a mom who didn’t care enough to dress her boys in cute, matching shirts that featured the holiday at hand.” I knew they’d all be too busy trying to keep track of their own kids in the large crowd and mentally doing math to see if they wanted to stand in the ridiculously long ice cream line to overpay for subpar frozen treats.

My two kids felt happy with what they were wearing. Their clothes were clean and comfortable. Yes, I miss the cuteness of, say, this:

4th of July

But they’re still cute. And individuals with individual taste.

I’ve started to pull them in more on things like clothing choices when shopping, though I frequently know what they will (and won’t) like. If we’re heading out of the house on any given summer day, I might request they put something together that mostly matches but I don’t often request that they go change. (Exceptions for clothes that are actually dirty.) But mostly, they wear their favorite shirts over and over again. LittleBrother has been seen sporting the same Laurel Caverns “Batman” styled shirt for weeks. BigBrother tends to love his newer shark shirt and the Emerald Isle fire department shirt we got at Wings.

And so it goes.


One Reply to “52 Weeks of Brotherhood: The One with Non-Matching 4th of July Shirts”

  1. Because they are twins I do try (and try and try) to dress them the same but every once in a while they decide to show off their individuality and I love that too.

    Loved this peek into your unique and adorable little boys. Who , by the way, looked absolutely wonderful and patriotic for the 4th!


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