Several times this past week, my husband had to attend rehearsal for his change of command ceremony. Day One, he told me how he forgot his “snivel gear.” Snivel gear is that which you wear to keep from sniveling at the weather: long underwear, ear muffs, rabbit-fur lined hats, battery-heated socks. Day Two, he told me how the snivel gear he wore was insufficient and he needed to wear more (ear muffs are not Army-approved, just so you know).
This information churned in my head for several hours before something finally occurred to me:
“Hey, are you saying that the change of command is outside?”
Apparently, changes of command are almost always outside. My husband sometimes forgets that I’m not in the Army, too.
Yesterday, I dug out gloves and hats for all the kids (OK, honestly, I had Fritz do this while I patiently and calmly removed tangles from my daughters’ hair…OK, honestly, I had Fritz do this while I not so patiently and calmly removed tangles from my daughters’ hair). I made sure everybody had their winter coats ready. One argumentative child felt that his fleece jacket was sufficient.
“I’ll be fine, Mom,” he said. “It’s nice outside.” And it was nice: nearly 50 degrees and sunny.
“Yes, it’s nice for running around and playing. It’s not so nice for sitting still on metal bleachers for an hour. Wear your coat, ditch the ball cap, and bring your gloves and knit hat.”
He argued; I insisted. He argued, and I said he wasn’t coming if he didn’t dress the way I told him to, end of story. I’m all for having children learn life’s lessons naturally, but this was not an occasion to deal with a sniveling child. Snivel gear (anti-snivel gear?) was mandatory. I even brought a blanket for Mary.
I left early to make sure we were early, and I had enough time to run into the grocery store for a few things. As I dashed in the warm sunshine, I thought surely we were overdressed. It was so pleasant in that parking lot. The sun was bright, and there was no wind. It was a beautiful day.
Fifteen minutes later, we arrived at the field for the ceremony. I left my own gloves in the car, because it was so nice. We walked around the covered seating area to find my husband, and then IT hit me: the wind.
I swear there was a special wind making machine facing the bleachers. The windless parking lot of the grocery store felt wonderful. But this place was frigid. I couldn’t believe we were in the same zip code (and we were perhaps 4 blocks away). I immediately sent Fritz back to the car for my gloves (I guess he was glove boy yesterday, poor thing). Oh, and the bleachers were in the shade, too.
And that argumentative son? Right away, he said, “You were right, Mom.” But not totally right. “You should have had me wear BOTH the fleece and the coat.” He was right about that.
Average temperatures for this area in February are in the mid-sixties. So far, we’ve not been anywhere near that. I’m not complaining, really, I’m not. I’m just thankful I don’t have to sit in shady, windy bleachers every day. Keep me on the leeward side of buildings in the sun.