Just Label Everything

by Belinda Terry P’20

As we find ourselves packing for the upcoming school year, I think back to the end of last school year, the end of May when it took two trips to empty out our son’s room. Where did all these clothes come from? Back home we slowly climbed the Mount Everest made of laundry only to find ourselves a day later amidst skyscrapers of folded sheets, towels, t-shirts and all the other items that make up our students’ wardrobes. Fast forward to the assembly line of allocating folded laundry back into drawers, suitcases and trunks when wait one minute. . . what do we have here and where did it come from?

August Year 1 at Deerfield, I finally found a use for all the labels I had ordered many years before for camp. I quickly realized, again, that my beloved mother had not passed on her sewing gene to me and I grabbed the fabric glue and was quite pleased with the results—until I ran out of labels. Not to worry, a quick internet search found the tool I will forever be grateful for Minestamp’s Personalized Label Stampand I was ready for any battles that might ensue with the laundry service. However, after three years, the laundry services (either one we’ve used both) is not the problem; teenage boys lose things, teenage girls borrow things.

There I was, sadly looking at beautifully cleaned, folded and, in many cases, ironed clothes that I had never seen before, underwear brands I’d never purchased, or blankets I never ordered. How happy I was when I would find that another Mom out there had attempted to send her son to Deerfield armed with clothes with their names neatly written on waistbands. Unfortunately, the response from my son when asked “Whose stuff is this?” was totally unsatisfactory: “Mom, I can’t be responsible for every piece of clothing left in my room.” However, this intrigued me enough to ask other moms if they too found additional clothes at year end? One of my besties explained that the girls often would borrow each other’s clothes, which in her particular daughter’s case found some items not being returned and a loud verbal altercation taking place on the lawn in regards to ownership.

Bottom line, label everything; most things do return home at the end of the year, but if they are labeled with your child’s name, there is a chance, if lost, misplaced or borrowed they may still make it home again. I’ve managed to reunite all of the items that arrived at our house with their original owners. Now, if anyone finds my son’s hockey skates and stick amongst their son’s stuff? Please call me.

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