And then my oldest son came to me with a coat "emergency." He needs a new coat, he really does. One that isn't bleeding down feathers, making him look like he's molting. But he needed it yesterday. And he would still need it tomorrow and the day after that.
There's only one place he wants to go for a new coat. It's far away, from the perspective of wishing to stay close to my couch today. And it sells the kind of coat that appeals to him, and not so much to me. I want to say no to the proposed trek. (I'd send him with money, but this purchase has to go on my credit card, which they probably wouldn't let him use at the store. Even though I've pretty much nixed credit card usage, this month is an exception. The check that will fund our planned-for extras is sitting in an envelope in a pile of unopened mail, its counter-signer half way around the world for another 26 days.) I really want to say no. And I could.
But this morning I made one of my random visits to Facebook, and learned that a friend of the last few years, since we shared a long and bumpy plane ride, just lost her son. He was the same age, with the same name as my coat-seeker. He, too, was once a towheaded toddler. His mother and I had commiserated about the challenges of raising sons in 21st century America, and celebrated the moments of fun and closeness. I don't know the details of his death, and I don't need to. But the devastation is lodged in my heart.
So plans and preferences be damned. I am so lucky that my son is here to need a coat. And that I am here to pay for it.
From my friend's Facebook post--
Be kind to everyone, practice patience and tell the people you love how important they are. Your life, as you know it, can change in the blink of an eye.Happy Thanksgiving! I am off to the store.