This I Believe

Hillary - Crestview Hills, Kentucky
Entered on August 4, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, gratitude

Hand-Me-Downs: Relics and Treasures

I believe in hand-me-downs. Ever since I was a little kid, I was wearing clothes from my older cousins like they just came from a designer store in Italy. It wasn’t the fact that they were simply something new to wear; it was the fact that my older, wiser, cooler cousins had worn them. These clothes possessed a magical quality that i both revered and respected as a girl. When I needed to do really greatin my soccer game, all I had to do was wear the shorts of my soccer-star cousin, Jessica, and I was able to score those goals. When I needed to ace that test, all I had to do was put on the sweatshirt of my really smart cousin, Matt, and the answers came to me like magic. I am not trying to say I didn’t have talent of my own. I can see clearly now that those clothes were nothing more than some out of style 80’s apparel. At the same time, I could not have accomplished what I had as a young girl if it wasn’t for those tokens of something to which I aspired. There was something satisfying about tasting the talent of knowledge which those I so admired had mastered. As I got older, I began to look at the hand-me-downs as my connection to the success of each individual who once possessed the clothes. I could tell my friends, “You know that girl that plays McNick soccer? Yeah, she’s my cousin, and I can show you the uniform she wore before she was really famous!” or, “You know the girl who lives across the street from my grandma? You know the really beautiful one? She’s my cousin, and she let me have the dress she wore to her very first highschool dance!”

Since my childhood days, I have come to respect the memorie that hand-me-downs preserve. Because of this, I never throw anything away, whether it is a piece of information, a card, a pair of shorts, or even a picture. Hand-me-downs keep me connected to the things I am proud of, and I can’t wait to hear my little siblings say, “You know my big sister? She gave me the bracelet she wore to her Junior prom! I can show it to you if you want!”