I sat on a blue Adirondack chair outside Target waiting to meet friends for dinner. An hour earlier, a huge clap of thunder, a two-minute rain, and a sudden wind quickly changed the day from balmy to blustery. The way only March can do.
A young family walked by.
“Daddy, I’m cold,” said the darling little toddler.
“I told you to put on your coat, but you said no,” answered Daddy.
“I’m not cold at all,” bragged the 4-year old.
As they passed by, I heard myself think, “Since when did wearing a coat become a choice for a two-year old?”
I caught myself before blurting, “And who is the parent here?”
Maybe those are unkind thoughts. Maybe I’m old-fashioned. But maybe, just maybe, a parent who insists on the coat communicates protection, safety, comfort, and warmth.
Would children be less anxious today if they didn’t have to make so many choices? Just wondering.
I just wanted to pick her up and wrap my coat around her.