Each day I drive my children to the daycare, escort the youngest inside and wait outside with the others for the bus.
Last week one of the daycare staff brought out a little boy to wait with us for the bus, a boy that I had not seen before.
He had a nice jacket, better than my boys do, but it was gaping open. I thought perhaps he had not mastered the zipper yet. I never assume anything about motor skills, not with my eight year old unable to tie his shoes.
I asked him if I could zip his jacket. I watched his face carefully, and though he moved his head, I could not discern assent or dissent to my question. The daycare worker told me she thinks he said yes.
I started to zip his jacket, and had to stop. Because there was no zipping apparatus at all, just the teeth with nothing to join them. I overlapped the edges and asked him to hold his arms over, like a bathrobe, and told him I was sorry that the zipper to such a nice jacket was broken. He nodded in agreement.
The boys got on the bus, we waved at the steamy windows.
Walking back I asked the daycare worker if she thought he needed a jacket. She told me that when she brings in the snack cart for meals and snacks his sister would burst into tears at the sight of it. I asked if she ate well, and she said ¨Oh, yeah¨ with wide eyes, as if she ate more than could be believed. She then said ¨I think it´s like that.¨ In answer to my question.
I knew what she meant. No one wants to admit it, the horrors of child suffering.
So I went home and I came back to the daycare and I dropped off a jacket to the same worker and I asked her to return it if it did not fit. It was my son´s, from last year. My daughter would have fit it next year. I bet she would be thrilled if I found her a girl´s jacket by then instead. I didn´t really need it back, but I figured that might be the only way I would know if the boy needed a different size.
I didn´t hear anything else about it. I think it fit. I hope.
Merry Christmas. To you, but more so to him and to all children like him and his sister.