Monday, December 12, 2011

This red coat

This red coat wasn't yours to begin with, it was Owen's.
This red coat has been in the snow, has been in the rain, has been filthy from rolling in the dirty snow on a warm winter day.
This red coat has traveled many places, to school, to Target, to the water park, to the skating rink, to birthday parties and arcades.
Today, this red coat is driving me crazy. I never dreamed it would bother me so much.
This red coat fit your brother perfectly, kept him warm for two winters.
Today, I want to burn this red coat. I rationalized the price of this coat because I knew you and your younger brother would wear it too. I can't burn it can I? 

This red coat is another reminder that being your mom is hard.
Your younger brother Ryan puts his coat on by himself.
Every morning, without fail, I struggle with this red coat. The drool from the previous day reminds me that it needs to be washed. The rip on the sleeve reminds me that you won't ever get it caught on the hook while pulling it down from the hanger. The double cuff to block out the snow reminds me that you won't need this terribly inconvenient feature. The hood reminds me of that beautiful day at the nature center tromping through the snow with your brother and you weren't there.
This other red coat is the match to yours, worn by another five year old boy who takes full advantage of its features. 

So I will search again, for the perfect coat. It can't be too puffy because I wouldn't be able to strap you in your wheelchair. It can't have a tuck in hood because it's too bulky behind your head support. It can't be to small because there will be no way I'll be able to maneuver your tight little arms through the sleeves. It can't be too thin because you'll get cold while sitting outside watching your classmates play around you. 

So as with many other things: shoes that open big enough to get your AFO's to fit; pants with elastic waist to make diaper changes easier; shirts with stretchier fabric to fit your tight little arms through the sleeves; strollers to support your body as you grow;  mittens that stay on your clinched fists while your outside; I'll find the right coat.
A coat thats just yours. When I do, I'll give this red coat to Ryan. He will write his own story with this coat, he'll get his own rips and stains on it and most importantly, it won't be your red coat anymore.

4 comments:

Stacey said...

When I first met you at ECFE w/our first borns, I was a mess. I was adjusting. I couldn’t make friends there. I didn’t fit in. I thought you had it all. You were beautiful, happy, adjusted, good at making friends in this new group, smart. After reading your blog, I now know that you’re also incredibly strong.

I pray you find joy, in something, every day. Even just a little bit. You deserve to.

Stacey said...

When I first met you at ECFE w/our first borns, I was a mess. I was adjusting. I couldn’t make friends there. I didn’t fit in.
I thought you had it all. You were beautiful, happy, adjusted, good at making friends in this new group, smart. After reading your blog, I now know that you’re also incredibly strong.

I pray you find joy, in something, every day. Even just a little bit. You deserve to.

Fawn said...

So many LITTLE details that most people don't realize need to be thought about when your life is different from theirs. So many things that add up.

Kate J said...

Oh, Sue. Another well-written peek into those special moments. Finding the right clothing is also among my time and energy-consuming details. (And the drool, too!)
Fawn is right about how these things add up - and it is almost infuriating to me when a well-meaning person says, "Just let it go." ?????!!!!! How can I ? How can you?
I think it can only happen when and if you have people around you who get what special needs-life is like. And are not afraid to love your child.