Why I’ll Gladly Spend The Next Decade Yelling At My Kid To “Put A Jacket On!”
“Where’s your jacket?” my father would ask constantly. It was his favorite question. He never asked about school, girls or why my eyes were always bloodshot (it’s a condition) just the geographic location of my coat.
“In my bag.”
“I left it in my locker.”
“Ummm, I think it’s in my closet because I forgot it.”
Most of my friends experimented with drugs around seventh grade. Experimenting on each other sexually around the same time, maybe sooner. I was accessory to more than a few stolen packs of cigarettes, cigars or bottle of booze lifted from unlocked liquor cabinets.
- I didn’t smoke anything until my sophomore year.
- Liquor didn’t touch my lips until junior year.
- I didn’t touch a female until last Monday.
Going without a jacket was my only real show of rebellion. It felt like the most mother-fucking badass act of revolution in a house were I was honestly scared shitless of my mom. Dad, not so much, laid back guy but my mom could rage. I’d bear arms with bare arms no matter the temp or wind chill. Take your drugs, smoke your weed, touch your vaginas but this kid isn’t wearing fleece on a winter’s morn.
Every morning now involves a war of attrition. Maybe it’s a war of exhaustion. Who’ll get tired of fighting first?
I’m a parent. I’m in a constant state of tired.
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It’s an argument over a fucking jacket. A jacket, a sweatshirt, any outer layer to provide warmth.
First, it’s a battle to get a jacket then which jacket then why’s a certain jacket in the wash or gone or in a pile of toys.
Then in the afternoon it’s “where’s your jacket? why aren’t you wearing it? Where did you leave it? Why is that other kid wearing it?”
He’s fast but I’m faster. His pumping arms make it impossible to slip on the sweatshirt that looks like the monster from Where The Wild Things Are while both in mid-sprint. Eventually, I win, because I’m the parent. Eventually, I’ll lose, because I’m the parent.
If going coatless is his lone rebellion I’ll accept defeat with every battle. Just so long as he stays away from the things that will cause a war. Or worse.
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