I have been extremely focused on a suitcase. No, not this one, my smart-alec friends. A really important one, the one that my son will be toting with him as he rides the rails off to Washington DC for five days. It must solidly contain his life, in an organized and easy-to-maintain fashion, and I won't be there to calmly handle the little messes.
Funny how our survival packages for the trip are so extremely different. His is a large red pullman and mine is so significantly smaller: a three-inch tall cylinder marked Valium. And so to focus on something, anything, other than the horrible imagined dangers that I can so freely conjure up, I have chosen to worry, effusively, about the contents of his suitcase. One such worry was where to pack his winter coat: too bulky for his backpack, not accessible enough in the suitcase, and sure-to-be-lost simply carried by hand.
As I was lying in bed, it came to me. I had already planned to ziploc bag every day's outfit--appropriately marked--so why not go one step further? I would buy a vacuum compressed bag, stuff a coat, gloves, and hat inside, vacuum out the air and he would have a neat little package for his backpack. Upon arrival in DC, he would merely need to pull out the ziploc bag, decompress it with a big whoosh, and voila! Cold weather gear at hand. I detailed to Eric my plan.
He looked me in the eye and said, "It surprises me greatly that Jake has not already been required to defend himself, you being his mom all these years."