I've had to face facts. Of the total number of pajama pieces hanging anonymously on the overcrowded rack next to the shelf full of half-used notebooks and half-burnt candles, some portion therof, have been died in, or at least dyinged-ed in. That nice pair of light cottony flower besprinkled bottoms with one end of the drawstring disappeared forever in the waistband? Even if they weren't on point for the final breath, there's still a good chance they were in the final rotation.
We'll take them.
And sleep and lounge in them. Because my husband and I want to both spend a lot of time with our kids, and get to buy lap-tops. Because I want to both be able to work on the books I'm writing and feed my kids organic milk. To make them taller. So they can fit in a wider array of more adult-size dead people's pajamas.
We're used to such "trade-offs". For seventeen years, our family's domestic economy has been entirely based in the "pre-owned" market. Cars, furniture, books, Santa gifts, appliances, computers, dishes, pets. If we could get our hands on some used doctor's appointments, we'd at least explore the notion. Our economy has been entirely based on the perpetual need to stretch each dollar like a tarpaulin over a sprawling pile of goods and services that never quite fits in its shade.
And we have it easy.
Compared to those living in the grinding poverty of the truly poor, we are rich. Besides making an additional $14,000 above the poverty threshold for a family of five in 2012 ($26,000), we have education, cultural privilege, and perhaps most subtly powerful in the end, the peace of mind, and risk calculation adjustment that comes with having connections to at least a few people with more economic security who wouldn't stand by idly if economic disaster struck us. None of us have ever yet wanted for food or any other essential. Clean water? Check. Roof? Check. A zillion books? Check. A lot of time to ourselves and on our terms? Check. Friends and family who would help (and have helped) us with babysitting and loans? Check. Dead people's pajamas? Check. Or don't check. No way to tell, really.