VICTORIA — The days leading up to Cohen’s return to school felt like being on his trampoline — up and down.
“It was very, very hard,” the seven-year-old says. “I felt emotional about it.”
To understand why, we need to go back to the start of the pandemic, when Cohen stopped wearing typical clothes.
“I got out of bed and didn’t want to change my clothes,” Cohen recalls of his first full day wearing pyjamas. “And that started a career!”
A prolific pandemic pyjama career.
“I do everything normal,” he smiles. “[Except] I’m just in my pyjamas.”
There’s a bunch of pictures and videos showing Cohen riding his bike and scooter down the street in pyjamas.
“I go for walks in pyjamas,” Cohen says. “I go for car rides in pyjamas”
He even sits by the beach in pyjamas and roasts marshmallows in pyjamas.
The best thing, he says, to do in pyjamas is to bounce on a trampoline.
“Do bum drops on the trampoline with the sprinkler underneath,” Cohen says, before adding with a smile. “In pyjamas!”
We first met Cohen after he’d worn pyjamas exclusively for 72 days straight.
His dad, Kevin, suggested his seven-year-old began doing it to assert some control during this uncontrollable time — and kept doing it because of all the smiles it inspired.
“If he’s spreading some of that positivity right now, he probably knows he’s making a little bit of a difference,” Kevin says.
But then, after six months in pyjamas, Cohen faced more than a little bit of a dilemma — what to wear to school?
His mom — Mari — says Cohen brought it up during a car ride.
“He said, ‘Mom, I need to tell you something and it’s just going to take me a moment because I’m feeling really emotional about it,’” Mari recalls. “I said, ‘Take your time,’ and then he said, ‘I’ve made a decision that I’m not going to wear pyjamas to school. I’m going to break my pyjama career.’”
So, after 177 days of feeling unique, Cohen put on something ordinary. He courageously embarked on a first day of school like no other, leaving behind the pyjamas that had inspired so much confidence.
By the time the day ended, Cohen realized his sense of accomplishment and his sense of self was very much still with him.
“I feel like that’s always going to be with me,” the boy says. “It’s like I have a trophy inside of me for wearing pyjamas.”
It’s an inner trophy that nobody can take away from him, and one that he looks forward to telling his grandkids about one day.
“Can I tell you a story about when I was little?” Cohen says in an “old man voice,” before smiling proudly. “I had to go through a global pandemic, fighting it off wearing pyjamas!”
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