I used to stroll around Target with two babies born thirteen months apart. What mom doesn’t kill a day with air-conditioned zombie-walking, mainlining Starbucks like a boss?
I’d pass the little boy’s department, well-stocked with graphic tees. My eldest was a serial vomiter, so extra shirts were always a good idea. They were catchy, those labels: Lil Slugger, Future Rock Star, Touchdown Tackler. There was even a snappy Bass Fisherman-in-Training with red gill font that made me pause. But, I’d muse, what if my son wants to be a potter? Or a yoga teacher? Or a judge?
Where was the Lil Landscaper graphic tee?
Working for NASA, my dad was often labeled. And yes, he legit wore a pocket protector and black plastic glasses. With his government job,
he was a port of security, and yet he traded stocks like a Vegas shark after retiring. As a boy, my husband actually did contemplate becoming a potter after a field trip to Vermont, and he’s an actual rock star (well, to me, and many acoustic fanboys). And my son wouldn’t budge from his car seat on his first day of soccer no matter how many Bend it Like Baby! tees we smacked on him at birth.
I guess what I’m thinking is we need a Dad Makeover tee, for all the dads-in-training. Out with one-sided sports mottos, in with crying like Ted Lasso. Let’s shelve Lil Slugger and roll out Lil Multi-Careerist. Don’t get me wrong. I love a great game. But let’s widen the outfield for our future dads.
Let’s print Lil Revisionist on a few newborn onesies and see what happens.
Cate Berry is an Austin-based children’s book author and other of two. She also teaches writing workshops for young people at cateberry.com.