"Alaska Grown" Hoodie

In Attire
Dark Green "Alaska Grown" Hoodie
Dark Green "Alaska Grown" Hoodie

 Scrolling through my wardrobe, my mind juggles the options when my hand rubs across a distinctly familiar cotton. I take the sweater out and shove it on. I consider the words plastered on the front, “Alaska Grown”. While I was born in Anchorage, I only lived there for two years before moving away. The only memory I have is a bright blue “Alaska Grown” hoodie that I wore. And, even though I loved wearing it, I grew detached from feeling “Alaska Grown”. When I asked them, my grandparents had different experiences immigrating to America. Some of them didn’t have a place to sleep, some of them had children to take care of, and some of them couldn’t speak English. Despite that, they chose to push forward. They taught themselves the language, found jobs, and eventually made enough to provide for their families. Because of my grandparents’ hard work, my parents would all grow up in Anchorage to live a typical American lifestyle. They were my age when they would start wearing “Alaska Grown”. My father wanted to be a basketball player, and my mother wanted to go to college. They were given the opportunity to explore who they wanted to be and what they wanted their future to be like. So, when I look at this hoodie, a deep and fond gratitude starts to warm me. The struggles that my grandparents fought through and the paths of self-discovery my parents walked; Alaska helped all of my family grow, and wearing the hoodie reminds me that I’m growing too. 

Place(s): Anchorage, Alaska

– Christian E. Llaneza

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant