I guess I should apologize to all the people of Chicagoland, for it was I and I alone who made the Hawks lose last night. Don't believe me? Ask my son.
My eleven-year-old son, Jackson plays hockey. He's the Niemi of his hockey team. He's obsessed with the Blackhawks, begging me to let him stay up late to watch every game. If he could, he'd grow a play-off beard, but since he's only eleven, he just lets the dirt accumulate on his face. And he wears his Blackhawks jersey. A lot. As in, he's worn the same shirt to school, around the house, and to bed for four days in a row. How did I not notice this until today? I have six kids. I'm happy when they're all wearing clothes. I'm not too picky about what clothes they wear. I don't even notice it when my four-year-old puts on a tutu, pink cowboy boots, and a fireman hat. And I don't notice it when my son wears the same shirt four days in a row. Until that shirt starts to smell.
Yesterday morning, I picked up on the funk that was emanating from his beloved Hawks jersey. "Hey, didn't you wear that shirt yesterday?" I asked my son in horror.
"I've been wearing it all week," he answered as if there was nothing at all wrong with that.
"What? Seriously? That is so gross! Take it off right now and let me wash it!" I demanded.
"I can't! It's lucky!" he argued.
"No, it's smelly. Now change your shirt! I'll wash it today. You'll have it back in time for the game tonight," I promised.
"No way! If I take it off, the Hawks'll lose!" he said in a genuinely worried voice.
"Jackson, I don't think you're so powerful that you can make the Blackhawks win with your wardrobe. But your shirt's that powerful (powerfully stinky, that is)! Now change!" I insisted.
I really didn't understand his reluctance to have me wash his shirt. Do you have any idea how many times I've found clean, folded clothes in the hamper simply because he was too lazy to put his freshly laundered clothing in his drawers? It makes me blow a gasket when he throws clothes he hasn't even worn back into the laundry basket. Like I have nothing better to do than to wash his clothes twice in a row! But he didn't want to let me wash this shirt even once.
"NOW!" I demanded.
He finally caved, but with these parting words, "If the Hawks lose tonight, it'll be ALL YOUR FAULT!"
So, there you have it. Because I didn't want my son to be "the smelly kid in class", I made the Blackhawks lose. I promise to let him stink it up for game four. You know, just in case the shirt really does have magical properties.