“Reminder Shirt,” Friend, June 2000, 29
“Oh, no—my shirt’s ruined!” Emily cried. She pulled the still-warm shirt from the dryer. “Let me see,” her father said. He put down the pants he had been folding and took the shirt from Emily. “What’s wrong with it?” He held it out in front of him.
“Look at the stains, Daddy.” Emily pointed at the splotches of blue, green, and brown splattered across the front. “It’s ruined!”
“Well, it’s important to keep our clothes clean and spot-free,” her father agreed, “but it’s also good to have a ‘reminder shirt.’”
“A reminder shirt? What’s that?”
“A reminder shirt reminds us of everything we did on the days it was worn,” Daddy explained. “Do you remember when you wore this shirt, Emily?”
“Do you remember what we did that day?”
“Well, after lunch, I helped you paint the fence—with blue paint. That’s what those blue stains are!”
“I ended up with blue spots on my shirt, too,” Daddy said. “But we sure had fun painting that fence, didn’t we?”
“Yes! Later, you took me to the park, and you chased me until I fell down and slid across the grass on my tummy.”
“Grass stains.” Daddy pointed at the green streaks on the front of the shirt. “And then—”
“We went for ice cream! I had a double scoop of triple fudge. You had two scoops of mint. And you made me laugh so hard that I knocked one of my scoops off the cone.”
“So now you have chocolate stains.” Daddy handed the shirt back to Emily. “I think all the stains make the shirt better. Because of them, we’ll always remember the fun we had that day. That’s more important to me than any shirt.”
“Me, too, Daddy.” Emily slipped the shirt over her other shirt. “I’m going to wear my reminder shirt again.”
“Sure. I want to make some more memories. The mud in the backyard is wet and gooey today—just right for building mud castles! It will be a lot more fun if you’ll help me,” she coaxed.
“It sounds like I’d better put on my reminder shirt, too,” Daddy replied, allowing her to pull him toward the back door.
“Then our shirts will match even better! And that means that we’ll have had lots of fun together.”