#NaBloPoMo 19 – My son’s coats


Come to me as a heap on his bed, the Jurassic layers of his early adulthood here in Exeter abandoned for more serviceable items in a foreign city.

The stonewashed denim jacket in pale indigo I have never actually seen him wear and which very probably belongs to someone else. I tell a lie. I have seen him wear it. It’s what he puts on when he needs to shuffle out for ten minutes, to the bank or on an errand. Sometimes it has been a party jacket.

The ski jacket bought from a charity shop during a flood-event in Hawick. Predominantly blue, it has red and green panels across the arms and chest in jaunty angles. Eminently flammable, It looks enormous on him. I have a feeling it is his favourite coat in the world. We cannot get rid of it.

His Topsham Rugby Club training zip-top, still splattered in mud. Two of his former teammates are now signed to Wasps, one of them the size of a tree. Another is on the books of our local team, the Chiefs. He had a lovely delayed pass. I watched them all and spotted none of them.

The quilted bomber jacket from H&M, with zips on the arms and neat pockets at the front with brass-effect stoppers. It suddenly dawns on me this is the only one he bought with his own money from a mainstream, high street shop. He looks gorgeous in it.

His old black ski jacket, bought from a bargain bin for a ski trip. I still can’t get over its thinness. The outside is a stiff, waterproof shell, the inside an even stiffer single layer of micro-fleece. It has zippered pockets on the chest and sleeves. These can be tightened and loosened with velcro fasteners. He swears he was never cold wearing it. I think my son might be indestructible.

I lift them in my arms, and walk them across his room to hang them in his cupboard. We don’t need them downstairs any more. Instead I turn back and dump them right where I found them, at the foot of his bed, breathing in his layers, disappearing into his sleeves.



  1. I wear their coats. Now and then, when I rummage through boxes under the bed, I come across their ‘leavers t shirts and sweatshirts from Primary and Secondary schools. Alongside these, two sets of waterproof dairy overalls from one son’s two year dairy farming in NewZealand. Hats too, though I find long lost woollen hats in their washing when they visit and realise that hats belong to ‘us.’ I wrap their coats around me when I go out walking. Our sons and daughter are always alongside and now our grandchildren too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Madeleine. I think clothes are so full of -well, everything, aren’t they. The person can be gone, but if their jumpers are still in the house, somehow they’re still there, aren’t they?


  2. You have expressed so well the sense of loss which many/most parents feel when their child moves out from the family home. Surprisingly but also unsurprisingly I miss their noise and messiness most. Oh for disorder as opposed to order (but I may well not tell them that)!

    Liked by 1 person

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