Today was the first day of the school year that truly required a winter jacket and not the casual windbreaker Chooch has been skating by in (when he even wears a jacket at all).
I gave myself a mom-pat for remembering to fish out his puffy winter coat before he left this morning. That entailed yanking every last article of outerwear and old purses from the closet.
Purses I don’t even remember buying. Coats that I never wore last year because they were hidden behind purses I regret buying. So I’m tossing all this shit over my head with wild, careless abandon, like someone would do in a cartoon except this is real life and I haven’t grown up yet and was that a torn bag of Henry’s forgotten dreams and broken balls I just tossed?
Chooch was waiting behind me with a look on his face that said, “Oh god, please don’t get one of your weird ideas and send me to school wrapped in garbage bags set alight, I swear it’s not that cold. Here, I’ll just double up on the layers.”
Flaming garbage bags might be a bit extreme, but what if I MICROWAVED them for warmth?! WE DO WHAT WE HAVE TO DO TO KEEP THE COUNTY AGENCIES AT BAY, SON.
Anyway, you can exhale now because I finally found one of his old red puffy coats in the back of the closet, entangled in an octopus of Erin’s Impulse Buys.
“Here, put this on,” I panted, worn out from all the last minute mothering. I began kicking and punching things back into the closet (but not everything because I wanted to leave some shit strewn about for Henry to put away because why should I have to do it all); when I turned around, I found Chooch standing like a scarecrow, completely stuffed into what turned out to be his coat from first grade. The arms stopped at his elbows and he looked like he was doing a juvenile impersonation of Fat Man in a Tiny Jacket. The look on his face was one of sadness and also disappointment in his mom’s lack of maternal savvy.
But then my eyes floated over his shoulder and I saw, laid out like a dead man’s suit, his actual puffy jacket! Henry had beat us to the punch and plucked the coat out of the closet for us, draping it over the wheelchair like a beautiful yet smug YOU’RE WELCOME, clearly anticipating either a hysterical phone call from me or one later from the school social worker.
Chooch sighed in relief, peeled the tiny coat from his husky 10-year-old frame, and easily shrugged into the proper coat. I even made sure he had a hat and gloves! (The gloves didn’t match but when do they ever?!)
Thank god Chooch has two moms.
At least I didn’t let him go to school the way he tried to leave the house on Saturday, in shorts, no shoes, and an unbuttoned shirt: