When Younger was in first grade, he left his jacket at the school. Then, the next day, he left his extra jacket at the school. Then, the next day, he left the heavy sweatshirt masquerading as a jacket at the school. And, the next day, concerned that we would eventually move his entire closet to the school one article of clothing at a time, I threatened to send him without any kind of jacket. He managed to return home with at least half the misplaced articles, but his habit of absentmindedness has continued to dog us.
And probably will for the rest of his mortal life.
A few weeks ago, the boys’ grandfather decided to take the boys and my husband, who were all home for a snow day, to lunch. On the way back, they stopped by my work for a quick visit. While Elder was meandering around the computers, their grandfather informed my husband and myself of where he had placed Younger’s latest abandoned item in his house, so that we might find it the next time we visited. Meanwhile, Younger stripped off his sweatshirt, draping it over a chair while trying on his new jacket.
And, of course, the sweatshirt remained, even when Younger did not.
Entering the house later, I hollered, “Younger?” When two eyes peeped at me from over the back of the sofa, I lifted the heavy gray material in one hand. “You left your sweatshirt at my work.” The eyes disappeared when he ducked his head in chagrined acknowledgment. “Let me tell you, sweetheart, you better not ever think of becoming a thief. For every item you’d take, you’d leave at least two behind.”
His head popped up within sight again. “Don’t you think I should avoid a life of crime for moral reasons?” he demanded indignantly.
“Sure,” I agreed, dropping my own paraphernalia in a chair. “I just thought I’d give you a few practical reasons, too.”
Because the only thing worse than being the mother of a criminal is…
Being the mother of the criminal that leaves his driver’s license at the scene of the crime.