a family of love and lost jackets…

January 28, 2012

It was a two hour trip to DC. I was just praying we would narrowly miss the Friday commuter traffic. It was a cousin weekend and the kids could barely contain their excitement because we all know, there is nothing better on the planet than cousins. They are like siblings but with out all the drama and everydayness. Not to mention the meet up and drop off point was IKEA, this meant meatballs and gravy while watching School House Rock and sitting on a bright green ergonomically correct chairs.

We rolled up to the family parking and started to pile out of the car. Jack hopped out with no jacket on and hands dug deep in his pockets, it was about 38 degrees.

“Jack! Where is your jacket buddy?” I asked. There was already that tone in my voice.

“I don’t know, I thought I brought it!” he responded acting shocked.

I don’t really know exactly what happened after that moment but a rant of sorts started. It wasn’t really yelling, it was the kind where I  made him feel  like total crap for this forgetfulness. I knew it was not just about this moment. It was the four jackets lost before, the four Columbia jackets I had so proudly found at the thrift store, the 57,000 reminders to put on a jacket, to pick a jacket up, the pleading to hang it on the perfectly designed mud room/station hook to make it easy, it was the whole entire spring when this child was three and jumped in every puddle known to man, it was old…and A LOT.

As it was happening, it was almost as if I was out of my body looking down on myself.  I knew it was wrong, I could feel it…but I just could. not. stop. This may have only been about 4 minutes of ranting but it felt like 100 minutes or maybe a 1,000 to Jack. I muttered something about everyone getting back in the car and we were going to buy a new jacket.

And then she spoke. That Lucy girl.

“Mom, I am gonna tell you something right now.” Her voice calm but firm.

“Mom, we are a family of love, and you are being too harsh on Jackie-boy right now, and it hurts his feelings mom, it is just a jacket mom, just a jacket. …and jackets don’t matter mom, love matters and I just gotta tell you that.”

And I turned around and looked at Jack, his eyes watering, having just been rescued and righted by someone so small yet so wise, and said,

“You are right Luce. You are right. I am sorry Jackie-boy.”  *big sigh* “Oh dear.” and that was all there was to say.

And I felt like a total jerk and so proud at the same time…because on some level there was space with these dear souls for rants, love and truth telling.

We bought a new jacket and I held it as he slid his arms in.

“Maybe you guys are so good, all that is left to complain about is stupid jackets.” I said while I hugged him so tight. He hugged back even tighter.

And two days later, he opened the car door at the car pool line and said, “Oh mom, I know it is some where…” his brow furrowed and eyes wide. I sighed and half smiled, because there is this sort of surrender and calm that comes after the freak out has finally been released.

and because…

We are a family of love, and lost jackets.

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17 Responses to “a family of love and lost jackets…”

  1. charbatkin Says:

    Brought tears to my eyes.

    Sadly, we are more a family of rants. It’s about patterns, and that is one I so easily get stuck in – and my eldest has started her own. :/

    Inspiration for change…


  2. Oh yes. I’ve been on that path and while I have regrets…I’ve learned from them and have moved on to a more peaceful life. You’re just getting there earlier than I did. I love Lucy. Heck. I love all of you.

  3. kazari Says:

    Awww…
    you know (don’t you?) that I want to be a mama just like you 🙂

  4. icekachang Says:

    Thank you for sharing this… it woke me up:)

  5. naima tasselli Says:

    I sent an email this morning, because i didn’t scroll down to see the box for comments.
    keep bubbling kindly, even if touches one at a time, Once in you’re never out- in the heart of those you touch-
    sprinkling magic dust with words and acts-the best Fairy Job ever…
    blessings

  6. Julia Says:

    thanks so much for this, Patience. it’s been hard lately with my 7-year-old son and too much ranting on my end when mostly what he needs is big hugs and support to get through the things (and I’m not even sure what those things are, exactly, just that they’re making him frustrated and edgy lately) he’s working through right now. we all need a Lucy sometimes.

  7. Bessie Wilson Says:

    I struggle with my 12 year old niece who acts like a 21 year old and sometimes I ask the question, “What happened to that cool Auntie I used to be?” I want to find a better way of loving and less nagging and ranting and be that person in her life she can talk to and share things with. I want to be an Auntie of Love. Thanks for sharing your story.

  8. Tess Hoff Says:

    Such wisdom, love and humility in these words.

  9. Tacy Says:

    Thank you Lucy for the reminder! 🙂

  10. Brenda Says:

    Every family needs a Lucy!! 🙂 We need to be reminded of who we are…who we want to be…and that it’s okay to forget…but you just have to remember again and try at it. I just LOVE this post…I have a jacket loser in my house too…and backpack…and homework…and lots of stuff…and I totally get the angst in that you hunted and hunted for the jacket (several times) at the thrift store…so pleased that you discovered the right brand—more than once!!! 🙂 Oh, if I lived closer, I’d give you a huge hug…because, we are kindred spirits!!

    I once got to the children’s museum (hour + away from home) with the kiddos and we were piling out of the car and Sophie had no shoes or socks on. :/ really. we had to go buy some.


  11. You’ve changed a life today….I am going to remember it is just a coat….I don’t want this to be apart of my dialogue.

    Thank you,
    Trish

  12. sondra Says:

    I needed this soooo much! Thank you!!!! Trying to rant less! Praying my sweet little souls forget all those endless rants and remember the love!

  13. sandy Says:

    Patience, you are brave to share this with the world….proves we are ALL works in progress, imperfect, but lovable nonetheless…..you are doing a LOT right to have raised Lucy!! I ‘heart’ you and your family!
    God bless all of you! 😉

  14. maura Says:

    Patience how do you know my family so well?
    when something gets broke we say things are not important people are (but still get a little sad) I have had the same scenario happen (with no shoes too or with being late because someone once again cannot find theirs and they have a PLACE for them. Have also been brought back to order by wiser calmer younger souls. It brought tears to my eyes to read what I have felt so closely and sometimes so sharply. Thanks

  15. JL Says:

    Thanks for this. That’s all I got. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Allison Nagle Says:

    I wish I had a Lucy! Yesterday my poor daughter got an earful after gluing the wrong side of her valentines hearts for the THIRD time…aren’t crafts supposed to be fun and making a mistake could end up making it cuter anyway….i wish there had been a Lucy to remind me of that 😦


  17. […] solace. Except in this place, there is also swearing, not lots of sermons (except if you forget your jacket and you lose your cool, a kid may school you) and maybe the occasional atheist, I’m not sure […]


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