Growth Spurts: When the Saints Go Marching In . . . Wearing Snuggies
My son Caleb, who is nine years old, has become an avid football fan. The boy absolutely loves the sport. He watches the games on TV; he and his friends play football at recess; he collects football trading cards; he draws pictures and writes stories about football; he reads books about it; and he enjoys just talking about the sport.
The New Orleans Saints are his favorite NFL team, so he was quite excited when the Saints made it to the playoffs this season. My friend Megan Voos, a California native, was also excited about the playoff game, since her beloved 49ers were playing as well. Knowing how much my son loved the Saints, Megan decided to make a friendly little wager with Caleb on the game. The stakes: the person whose team lost the game would have to wear his Snuggie with his team’s logo on it to our church service the next morning. Confident in his team’s abilities, Caleb quickly and gladly shook hands on the bet.
Then we watched the game. The Saints lost. My son was devastated.
Yes, his devastation was partly rooted in his team’s defeat, but a greater part of it was due to the realization of what it meant for him personally. My son generally does not like to draw attention to himself, and the thought of walking into a room full of people wearing a Saints Snuggie did not exactly excite him. He began to ask my husband and me if he really had to wear it. Kevin and I had already discussed this matter privately, and we decided that this was a good opportunity, in a safe environment, for our son to learn a lesson about integrity…and about the dangers of betting. Unfortunately, Caleb cared nothing about our thoughtful reasoning; he just didn’t want to do it.
My friend Megan suspected that Caleb would feel this way, and she checked in with us to see how he was feeling about the whole thing. We told her of his great sorrow. I know she felt bad for him, but she thinks like we do and knew that he needed to follow through with his side of the agreement. Megan sent me a text later that night and asked us to let her know when we arrived at the service the next morning, because she wanted to meet Caleb in the parking lot.
Not only was Caleb feeling terrible about having to wear a Snuggie in public, but my daughters were feeling bad for him. We talked with them, too, about integrity—being a person of your word, doing what you say you’re going to do—and told them this was why we couldn’t let him out of it. It may hurt his pride a little bit, but it wasn’t going to hurt him in any other way.
The whole incident became a family affair, because even though Kevin and I felt strongly about Caleb learning this lesson, it was still hard for us to see our son upset and not wanting to face the consequences. And so we did what we thought any loving, supportive family would do. We all wore Snuggies to the service.
But it didn’t stop there. As we were pulling into the parking lot, I texted Megan to let her know we had arrived, as she had requested. When she saw us, she motioned for Caleb, who was Snuggie-wrapped and feeling less than enthusiasticabout it, to come over to her truck. After a short conversation, she pulled out her own 49ers Snuggie and proceeded to put it on. She had no idea that our whole family had planned to wear ours with Caleb; this was simply her way to show love and support as Caleb’s friend and church family member. None of us could let him off the hook, but we could go through the “trial” with him.
Clad in various-colored Snuggies, the six of us traipsed into the room where our church meets on Sundays, and we were greeted by giggles, looks of surprise, and questions. Since my husband is an elder and teacher at our church, he had the privilege of welcoming everyone to the service–yep, while wearing his Snuggie. We all laughed at the ridiculousness of it, but it turned out to be a very touching moment. We got to be reminded of what it means to be a family–both biologically and spiritually.
Caleb was still embarrassed and would rather not have had to go through the ordeal at all, but I think it turned out well. He became a man of his word, but he didn’t have to do it alone. And a couple of weeks later, when another friend jokingly asked Caleb if he’d like to place a Snuggie wager on the Super Bowl game, he quickly and adamantly refused all bets.
Carrie Bevell Partridge loves and appreciates her church family, The Journey. She also enjoys her Snuggie, though she prefers to wear it primarily at home.