An Open Letter

An Open Letter

To the General Public (and more specifically the population of Brooklyn, New York),

My son is almost two years old. That is why his jacket is on backwards. That is why the hood is in front and the zipper in back. There is no other reason. I did not force him to wear it that way. I didn’t do it so he couldn’t unzip the jacket himself (although if I had thought of that a few months ago it might have been helpful). I decided the other morning that there was enough to do without fighting the “you have to wear it the right way battle.” He was happy, I was happy. We were out the door by 10:30. And now it has become a ritual nearly every time we go out. He puts his left arm in the right sleeve and his right arm in the left and laughs and smiles and is so good while I zip him up. And sometimes he is satisfied to go outside that way, and sometimes he would like a chance to zip up his jacket as well, at which point we unzip and do things the right way.

I do not plan to make a habit of letting him wearing his clothes the wrong way, but I can see from the smile on your face that it does bring you some happiness to see the little boy with the big eyes and the golden hair walking down the street as if everything is normal, when, in fact, his hood is almost covering his face. It brings me happiness sometimes, too, if I let myself think about it. But it is not always so fun or funny. It was fun for a minute when he decided not to put his arms in his jacket sleeves at all last week after church, but then I couldn’t hold his hand to cross the street and the situation had to be fixed, in public, with much wailing and thrashing. And it is fun, for a minute, when each night after his bath he dives into his pajama pants with both arms, hoping to get a laugh from his parents and forestall the inevitable bedtime by just a few minutes. It’s cute. It really is. The first time. Okay, it’s cute every time, but only because even after more than a week of this, he still thinks he is being clever and funny.
I apologize that I may be taking away a source of amusement for you when I insist that he wear his clothes the right way, but rest assured, he’ll still be cute. He’ll still bury his face in my neck when you say hi. He’ll still point out every single ‘S’ and dog and blue car (“Bluca! Bluca! Mo’ bluca!”) that crosses his path (and many other letters and colors as well). And that should make you happy, too.


PS I’ve noticed that some of you have a little bit of difficulty getting dressed in the morning as well. It seems as though your pants are either too big and are falling down, or too small and not covering the required territory. Just thought I’d let you know. Maybe you hadn’t noticed.

8 thoughts on “An Open Letter

  1. That was awesome, very well written. You sound like a Master in journalism in fact! :0)

  2. The fights I get to look forward to start much before the teenage years, eh? I guess practice is a good thing… Children, oh sweet children…

  3. I love it! So well written. I can’t tell you how much we siblings are learning from your experiences Simon and how grateful we are to you for it! Ü

  4. I loved the little dig about people’s too-big pants. Makes me want to go hike them up for people.

    As for what children wear, my son wore a tail for perhaps three years. It attached to a belt and was originally part of his Halloween costume. He was so into dinosaurs, he wanted to wear it all the time. One day, he wore it with a cardboard shark fin.

    Don’t worry about a thing.

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