Awareness Ribbon Shirt

(Topic: Grief, being in public, explaining)

Hi Friends,

Remember this shirt?

A few days ago, I talked about how I altered the sleeves. Today I want to talk about wearing it.

Here’s a picture of the front:

I first wore this in public on Mother’s Day last year, and have worn it occasionally since. One of the reasons I like it is that it makes “being a mom” visible for me – I’m otherwise invisible as a mom unless you know me. I also feel that the awareness ribbon is fairly evident and recognizable. (I’ll talk some other time about the pros and cons of the word “angel” in this context.)

Still, when wearing it, I have to balance being visible/recognized with being misunderstood or having to explain.

In fact, I’ve had two blatant misunderstandings, both leaving me baffled, when I thought the awareness ribbon shape is pretty widely understood in our culture.

Misunderstanding 1)
I wish my kid was an angel! (i.e. “well-behaved”)

Misunderstanding 2)
I should have a shirt that says I’M an angel, for putting up with my wife!!!

I’m really baffled. I know I’m putting myself out there, by wearing a shirt like this, but I expected (like when carrying Pookie around) that people would say trite things and ask questions that bring Charlie up. I really didn’t expect the self-centered misunderstandings that disregard the ribbon and the possible meanings of the text.

It’s a truly unanticipated difficulty, honestly. I’m just not sure what to think.

Yours,

Sarah

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