Last Sunday morning, my daughter wore shorts to Sunday School. That's hardly unusual - she's worn them before - but the temperature last Sunday morning was hardly springlike. It was 39 degrees.
My daughter is a November baby, and an only child. Before she was born, my husband and I attended not only Lamaze classes, but infant care classes as well. There, we were told repeatedly that our child would be born during cold and flu season. Wash hands before and after changing her, they told us, as well as before picking her up and pretty much every time in between. Don't expose her to germs - keep her home as much as possible in those early weeks until her immune system begins to develop.
I don't remember whether or not we were warned to bundle her up, butas new parents, we did just that. I remember one particular Winnie the Pooh fleece sack that we were sure she needed to wear - in addition to being covered by at least one blanket - every time we took her out that winter.
There were a couple of problems with this plan. First of all, as we quickly discovered, my daughter hated anything that hampered the movement of her feet. Second, she was rarely cold.
I was a slow learner. She was probably close to two before I gave up the bundle-her-up fight, and by then, she was old enough to let me know - in no uncertain terms - the error of my ways.
As she progressed toward school age, I figured if she was cold, she'd put on a jacket, and my role became more clothing option provider than outerwear dictator. By the end of elementary school, she'd given up not only sweaters, but also long-sleeved shirts, much preferring a tee shirt to any other article of clothing. And still, she was rarely cold.
But as she headed out to Religious Education on Sunday, I couldn't help myself. It was 39 degrees, after all. Her teenager reply was at once indulgent and kind.
"Mom, would you feel better if I wore a jacket?"
"Yes," I told her.
And so she put on a hoodie, and ran out to the car.
In shorts and a tee shirt.