This morning, I opened my son’s backpack to get out his lunch box and in addition to a few pounds of rumpled paper and his lunch box, my hand encountered his black Columbia Sportswear fleece jacket. The same jacket that disappeared from our life back in early October or so. The same jacket he returned to the music room to collect not 10 minutes after having left it there. The same jacket I phoned the parents of his friends about and then for which I personally searched through the school’s Lost and Found three times. (BTW, the school donates all items in the Lost and Found twice a year – once right after winter break, once right before summer vacation.)
So where the frack’s sake has my son’s jacket — the one with his name written in two places on it — been for seven months? ‘Cause it sure hasn’t been in the Lost and Found.
Hmm. I can only come to one logical conclusion. There was someone out there happily wearing my son’s jacket. Knowing full well it is my son’s jacket. Mostly because it has my son’s name written on it in two places. And there is no one at my son’s school who shares his name. Not even the same initials. I know, because I’ve checked. Twice.
I’m going to try to be charitable here and take the higher road. The road paved with such platitudes as “well, they must have really needed a coat” or “it’s a good thing we could afford to buy our son a new coat” or even “well, it is a pretty fashionable coat.” But there is this little voice in the back of my head that can yell really loudly when it gets cranky. And that voice sounds like this:
GET YOUR OWN FREAKING JACKET AND STOP STEALING MY SON’S!!!!!
Whew. Glad that little voice was able to get that off it’s little chest.
It wouldn’t be so bad, except this is not the first time such a thing has happened. It happened last year. Which means two things: my son would lose his head if his neck wasn’t such a convenient tether and there is some kid at the school who just follows my son around, waiting to take his jacket. Because there couldn’t be two jacket-stealing kids at a school, could there?
Now, if only his other missing jacket would show up. Yes, this is the kind of stuff my day is made of: searching for my oldest child’s clothing. This other missing jacket went missing last year as well. The same kind of year-long odyssey that culminated after Penelope got caught unweaving her tapestry AND I gave up looking for the damn jacket. Because, well, the Lost and Found had been COMPLETELY emptied already, so surely the jacket was history.
I’m not sure what the grown-ups in this other little person’s life are thinking when their child comes home with a jacket that they didn’t purchase and they’ve never seen on their child’s body before. It must not have been, “Well gee. Maybe we should call the phone number written directly below this child-who-is-not-my-child’s name and arrange returning the jacket.” I know I am making some serious assumptions there – namely that the other child has adults in his/her life and that they can decipher letters and numbers.
But perhaps my biggest assumption is that there isn’t some closet at my son’s elementary school where all the missing bits of children’s attire don’t secretly disappear into and party like it’s 1999 all school year, only pausing in their frivolities when the weather begins warming up and the jackets, mittens, scarves and ski caps get so stinky that the party must be curtailed for another few months and a few trips through the laundry.
If so, I can only hope that the remaining missing jacket simply stopped by the potty and will find its way into my son’s backpack soon. Before he outgrows the damn thing.
ps. This post brought to you by the Council for Missing Jackets and the People Who Have Never Watched an Episode of Lost So Do Not Have Their Undies in a Bunch Over the Series Finale.