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.