Today I found myself caught off guard by the weather. This is because I have not gotten any smarter in the lifetime I have lived in the Midwest.

Weather

Yesterday it was nearly 60 with a light breeze — so comfortable I could gallivant around in a sweater, sans jacket. Today the temperature had dropped nearly 30 degrees, and I was caught off guard without said jacket because I refused to believe this could be possible despite the fact that it happens, without fail, all the darned time.

This should explain why, I, a woman far old enough to know better, ended up sporting my son’s Letterman jacket. I was cold.

There is a certain age women reach where they begin to be aware that age plays a part in what the well dressed women chooses to wear.

We may all rightfully wish to avoid the words “handsome” or “matronly” being applied to us. It’s great to keep a youthful spirit alive and feel good in your own skin — and what covers it.

Nonetheless, it’s wise to know your limits, say anything involving the words “tube” and “top” simultaneously.

Still, when faced with lips blue from the cold and being chilled to the bone, I didn’t feel too badly about donning my son’s wool and leather jacket. I love our school colors, it has “my” name on it even!

OK, “our” name, but still.

Sure it also says I’m a sophomore, but I really don’t think I was fooling anybody with that one. I looked older than a sophomore when I WAS a sophomore. True story.

Still, as I snuggled into the jacket, I couldn’t help but wonder why such a great coat — and it really IS a great look — is confined to children and athletes?

Usually a combination of both.

Why aren’t there Letterman jackets for parents?

Achievement

So you lettered in football or track or academics or chess club. Good for you kid.

I lettered in late night feedings, testing for fever with my lips pressed to a child’s forehead, and — and I’m unreasonably proud of this mind you — catching projectile vomit IN MY BARE HANDS before it can hit the floor.

I gave up my own body — and coffee for a total of a year and a half — just to ensure, to the best of my ability, the birth of two healthy human beings.

You excel at basket toss? I can toss a dozen baskets of laundry in and out of the washer and dryer and once had all the clean laundry properly put away AT THE SAME TIME.

I’ll wait for the thunderous applause to die down.

You can run with a football or sprint really well? That’s cute, too.

My husband is varsity in staying the course, keeping us all on track, and holding the family together. He once stuck it out coaching a little league baseball team for an entire season AFTER our son quit.

I’m pretty sure that makes him a member of special teams. Where is this man’s pin?

Fit

A friend and I discussed today our own school jackets.

What’s odd to me is that even if I could snap it easily around my middle (not happening), the arms are now much too short.

What exactly happens in life that your arms are so much longer in middle age than they were at 17? My friend’s theory is that it comes from years of lugging infant carriers, milk cartons and laundry detergent.

I can’t say that I think she’s wrong.

The truth is I’m not sure there is enough room to put all the things that parents are proud of achieving on one simple jacket. We’d have to cover the back, sides, front, arms and add a hood or six just to get it all on.

M.V.P. I think we will have to just be content with the hope that even without a lot of accolades to embroider on our sleeves, we can always wear our hearts on them and hope our kids, if no one else, vote us M.V.P.

Most Valuable Parent is something you can always wear with pride.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt lettered in sidelines. She welcomes comments c/o lifeoutloud@comcast.net; P.O. Box 38, Salem, Ohio 44460 or www.kymberlyfosterseabolt.com.)

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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