Dressing Up A Son Of Thunder

Apr 24, 2011 by

In honor of Easter, here’s an old column I wrote when the eldest Son of Thunder was only 3. 

Do clothes really make the man?

Interesting question. Do we respect those in suits more than the guy wearing blue jeans? Do we work harder and sharper wearing a suit or khakis? And do we act nicer and more adult-like (whatever that is) when we dress up?

I decided to find out.

For Easter, we decked out 3-year-old eldest Son of Thunder in his Easter finest. I mean, we are talking the ultimate little boy outfit: white shorts complete with suspenders, a white shirt with a Peter Pan collar, white jacket, white knee-high socks.

He was simply adorable, as the Little Black Dress repeatedly pointed out. I had to agree, although I also thought that in a few years that same outfit would make him look like a sissy.  

And so off to church we went. It being Easter, we decided to take him along with us to the “big church” instead of nursery. To its credit, our church is smart and provides children goody bags to keep them occupied during the service.

Our eldest Son of Thunder, a Picasso in waiting, immediately grabbed the crayons and started coloring. That lasted about two minutes before he decided he needed a pencil. That lasted another three minutes before he got bored.

He then thought it would be cool to try and stab a hole in the church program with his pencil. That led to visions in my head of taking him to the emergency room with a pencil sticking through his leg. So I grabbed the pencil, which somehow buried itself in my hand.

We then of course had to say hello to the kids behind us, and their parents. That was complete with a big wave and a bigger “hi” that seemed to echo throughout the church. And why wouldn’t I just let him climb right over the pew? Fine, Eldest Son would just climb under the pew. And that is exactly what he started to do before I opened my eyes during a prayer and was able to grab a leg before he completely escaped.

That of course led to a small tantrum, forcing me to take him outside – this would be the second time – to have a talk about being quiet and all that. When we got back in, he decided to sprawl out on the pew, drop kicking his legs on The Dress’ lap and throwing his head back on my lap.


The stillness was wonderful. His angelic face resting on my lap in his adorable outfit. Yeah, and that lasted three seconds before he was up again.
He decided to go back to drawing. For the record, I was able to stop him before he actually drew his name on the beautiful Easter outfit the lady in the pew in front of us was wearing.

That was the last straw. Or was it when he decided to start talking in a very loud voice and naming all the disciples? I can’t remember, all I remember was picking up what seemed to be a large bag of Jello and trying to get it out of the sanctuary before it escaped.

Things fell apart even more at home where he decided he would not be joining us in the family Easter photo regardless of the pleas, threats, promises or bribes we threw at him. To his credit, he probably didn’t want evidence of that outfit for his future fraternity brothers.

And it was at this point I realized that while we could dress him up in his Easter finest, my 3-year-old Son of Thunder would still act like, well, a 3-year-old.

Which I guess goes to show that we are who we are. Clothes may disguise our true selves for a while, but put a little pressure on and our true selves will eventually emerge. Maybe it’s what’s on the inside that’s more important than the outside.

Just a thought.

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  1. Christinna Flynn

    Not to sound harsh, BUT YOU AND WOULD HAVE BEEN SPANKED. there I said it. But I bet he was darned cute, hence your reluctance. Sissy.

    • You are definitely correct there. But not a sissy, just showing Grace. It was Easter after all


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