a couple of weeks ago, i pulled out the winter coats. it wasn't really cold, but it was cold enough for my kids to need them on the way to school. funny enough, both boys had outgrown their old ones. so i went down into the basement where i keep the boxes and boxes of hand me downs. i found a nice one for taco, and a nice one for harry. i washed them and had them out and ready for school the next day.
they were both excited for their new warm coats! it was friday when they first wore them to school. the first friday of november in fact. on the first friday of the month, harry's teacher has show and tell. the topic of show and tell this month was to bring something you are thankful for. of course harry forgot to bring something, but being the guy he is, he thought he would show the class his "new" coat.
this coat isn't new. it's nice and puffy and warm. but not new. it has been through 2 other boys of harry's age. it has a little tear in the arm, it's the permanent dirty color (although it does look okay). it's just not brand new from the store, and it is pretty obvious from looking at it.
so harry stood up in front of his peers and showed them his coat, that he truly is grateful for. he showed them the hood, and the pockets and the puffiness of it. he put it on and told them how warm it was. and they laughed. his fellow students laughed at his coat. his nice warm, puffy, grey coat that he was so thankful for.
it upset harry that the kids didn't take him seriously. he didn't understand why the kids would laugh at his coat. when harry told me this story it made me feel bad. i felt bad because my kids only do know hand me downs, they don't have the coolest new clothes.
but then i felt happy. i was happy for a kid who didn't care. who didn't see the coat as all that, or what his peers saw it for. i have a kid who is grateful for the coat because of what it does, rather than what it means.
and that is huge when you think about it.