Tiny Pants went into his father's closet and helped himself to a new coat, which was awesome, because he found a coat that used to be his brother's that Daddy hadn't seen in years, and it fit.
It was actually a very special coat; it was the jacket to a police officer costume, but it was the one that his brother had worn to Kindergarten Graduation - the one with "Animal Rescuer" in foam letters on the back and Daddy's name tape from the Navy sewn on the front.
The coat itself is a story. For Kindergarten Graduation Big Pants had to dress as what he wanted to be when he grew up, which might have been simple for other people, but he wanted to be an Animal Rescue Police Officer. How about just an animal rescuer with this vest with lots of pockets? Nope. What about a police officer? Uh-uh. How would we make a costume that fit his vision?
Daddy and I were not as amicable then as we are now. We both followed the, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," mentality, which lead to a lot of silence. I was surprised when Daddy brought up the costume with me. Now, I am a creative person. I sew (badly) and make fabric covered boxes and jewelry. The fact that Daddy had the beginnings of an idea and I was completely dry is significant.
Daddy had a fine Police Officer's jacket and Daddy had a patch from his NAVY days with his last name on it, which is the same last name as our sons. He wanted to give them to me and have me "do something" with them to make an animal rescuer costume.
So I did. I got foam letter stickers and wrote "ANIMAL RESCUE POLICE" on the back, sewed (or hot glued, I don't remember now) the name patch on, and added a "ANIMAL RESCUE" homemade patch in the front as well. I was so proud of that coat.
I had asked Daddy awhile ago what happened to that coat, and he had no idea. Luckily, though, Daddy follows my golden rule of Never Throwing Anything Away, and Tiny Pants is a huge fan of reconnaissance missions to find Stuff He Can Keep. "Can I have this Mama? What about this?" is a constant refrain at my house.
So I was pleased to see him wearing it when we Skyped last night, though I didn't tell him that it used to be his brother's. Tiny Pants is not a fan of hand-me-downs, and I wanted it to remain his own special find. Besides, the letters on the back had fallen off, so it was now a "real" NAVY police jacket in his mind.
Tiny Pants is a bit more critical of things than his brother. Big Pants is fairly easily pleased with clothing, but Tiny Pants is very exacting.
"See my coat? The pockets don't work. Not even this one here. You can't put anything in them. Why would they do that? When i grow up I'm going to be a police officer or in the NAVY or something and when I do I'm gonna make it a law that you can't make a coat with fake pockets. You either have to have real pockets, or no pockets."
He may hate the pockets, but I know he loves that coat, and I love that Daddy saved it. And one day when Tiny Pants has dominion over all things, all costume coats will have working pockets on them, and that will be a good day indeed.