Sunday, January 21, 2007

Do You Just WANT Them To Beat Up Your Kid?

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."


tracy said...

So this is what you were up to this weekend. OMG I was just thinking the same thing Eric was as I read this. I thought, wow is Jake going to be beat up, never go on a date and the most important of all things to a 5th grader, not be cool. But knowing Jake somehow he would survive it, but boy are you making it difficult. This would be where you could just say, Yes Jake, love hurts!

tracy said...

So this is what you were up to this weekend. I was just thinking the same thing as Eric when I read your blog. Not only will he get beat up , he won't go on a date when he is older and most important to all 5th graders, he would not be deemed cool. Thank goodness Jake somehow could survive this, but I m so glad for Eric that this time he does not have to. But the best answer to our children when we do slip as parents is to say, yes Jake, love hurts!

Laura said...

As if walking around DC wearing that stupid yellow Safety Patrol Belt won't get ALL their asses kicked by the local DC kids.

amy said...


good luck with the coat thing. if jake is anything like my kids, all he'll wear is a sweatshirt and NO hat or gloves, even if it's freakin' 20 DEGREES out like it was this morning, complete with snow. i don't know when winter coats became uncool; when i was young winter coats were great (the puffier the better) but raincoats were definitely out, now it seems any garment that might convey warmth or protection is totallly passe. i, on the other hand, wear long underwear in weather like this, and try to avert my eyes so i don't have to watch jeff shivering (but oh so cooly, mind you) at the bus stop.

btw, i used to send my two boys to sleep away summer camp for 2 weeks with 2 weeks worth of underwear, socks and t-shirts. after a couple years, i realized that they were only wearing half of what i sent (and that's an optimistic half) i changed my strategy and sent them with a week's worth of clothes, most of which i THROW AWAY upon their return because i can't stand to touch it which i would have to do in order to get it into the washing machine for what would be 4 times or more through the wash cycle.

so, ziploc away...but don't be surprised if some of those bags come back just the way you packed them. i'd advise an extra sweatshirt (you know, for dressy occcasions) and hope that he isn't prone to frostbite.

wish i could say 6th grade is easier...but all i can tell you is that i'm glad that my 20% off coupon at Bob's is good for sweatshirts!

Di said...'s me, the anti-Laura. I have so NOT been obsessing about this and knowing that Laura has been obsessing enough for both of us, I just sent my son out shopping with her. So I rest assured that my son has everything he needs.

But I am SHOCKED that Laura didn't spring for the Louis Vuitton bag...Jake is SO worth it! And since my husband carries my Brighton luggage (embellished with hearts) on some of his trips, I am sure this would not threaten Jake's future gender preferences.