Dressed to Protest Winter


    It may be November, but my 7-year-old would rather swim a lake of fire than wear a sweatshirt and I've given up fighting him about appropriate clothing.

    Will someone please explain to me what my son has against warmth?

    Ezra, my 7-year-old, would rather swim a lake of fire than wear a sweatshirt. It may be November, but he is dressing like it is August and he will not be swayed. The calendar means nothing to him. It's 50 degrees and windy and he's heading out the door in a short-sleeved soccer jersey, shorts and his Nike Elite socks pulled up all the way. The mere suggestion that he wear pants or take a hoodie to school provokes a violent emotional refusal that I can't fight without the help of mutant mind-control power.

    I used to fight him. Frosty fall mornings would find us locked in a battle, me threatening to take away the very oxygen he breathes if he didn't march upstairs and clothe himself more appropriately. But it’s just a lengthy and teary power play with a determined child who loves to win.

    So this year, I am not fighting. You win, Ezra. Enjoy your sporty look and your hypothermia.

    "I won't be cold!" he shouts each morning when I ask if he's sure he doesn’t want to take a jacket. Then he shivers as we walk the block and a half to the car.

    "Cold, Ez?"


    "You look cold."

    "I'm not."

    "I'm pretty sure you're cold."

    My older son is the opposite. He keeps a blanket in the front seat of the car and turns on the heated seats – even in the summer.

    When it comes to Ezra's campaign against outerwear, I have a few theories. The first is that he's in denial that summer is over and thinks that wearing summer clothing is an act powerful enough to reverse time.

    Another theory is that he thinks more clothes will slow him down. I already know that he believes wearing jeans will cause him to lose races against his friends. When I take him shopping, the first thing he wants to do when he tries on clothes is run in them.

    The last theory is about those Nike Elite basketball socks. You can’t see the cool colors if you are wearing pants.

    It’s probably a little bit of all these theories. Although the Jewish mother in me is worried he will turn into an Ezcicle, I know that if I could call Mrs. Piggle Wiggle – and I often wish I could call Mrs. Piggle Wiggle – she would tell me to just ride it out. When he gets cold enough he will wear that jacket.

    Winter is coming, so it can't be long. Right?