The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


The Red Jacket

The Red Jacket

I was cleaning out the hall closet the other day, and I came across a red winter jacket I bought for my daughter when she was two. I bought it at an outlet store for $18, so I didn’t mind that it was three sizes too large.

When she first put it on, the jacket came down to her ankles, and the sleeves covered her hands. The hood came up over her forehead, and almost covered her eyes. She beamed at me in her too-large jacket and she looked so sweet and happy that I couldn’t bear to put it away until next year.

It was so big, it looked like a stadium coat—the kind that people wear to football games at night, and winter outdoor concerts. That image did not fit my wide-eyed girl, so I told her it looked like a fire chief jacket and that became its name.

She wore that jacket in every kind of weather, but the most fun she had with it was jumping in puddles during a rainstorm. The winter that she was three, I bought her red ladybug boots to match the jacket and she splashed in the gutter almost every day.

If I think back very hard, I can remember kicking my feet through the gutters as a kid and making huge sprays of water almost like a work of art—the water arching through the air in sheets and globes. I remember how badly I wanted to catch a globe and keep it, but I never could.

My daughter however, preferred stomping. She started with a small puddle, not too deep, and she would step on it hard—squashing it—giggling to see the water squirt out the sides of her feet. She would move cautiously and analytically to find the next biggest puddle and she would do it again. Pretty soon, she felt confident enough to tackle the big ones, the ones that needed two feet and a running jump.

One day I actually had my camera with me. It took some practice to figure out how to time the shot, and I finally realized that I had to push the button before she left the ground or else I would miss the photo entirely. In the end, I got several photos of my daughter completely airborne in her red jacket, staring down gleefully at the water below her, her boots lined up for a perfect landing. The look of anticipation on her face is priceless.

I stood there in the hallway, staring at the now too-small red winter jacket, remembering the joy it had brought, and I could not bear to give it away.

Not yet.

By Lianna McSwain


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