"Because there's something wrong with your arms and you can't?" I asked. They laughed and ran off with their friends.
"No, seriously!" I called in a futile attempt to get them to retrieve their outerwear.
I stood there, wobbling from the weight of 7 coats tossed haphazardly into my arms. I couldn't see around the mountain of Gore-tex. I turned this way and that, looking for a safe spot to put the coats, but since we were standing at the back of a crowded lunchroom, there was no place to set them. I was the official coat rack. Wait, scratch that. I was more than a coat rack because just then Lexi ran back to me and tried to hand me her Cyber Pocket video game. Of course, I didn't have a hand available to take the proffered game, so instead of holding it herself, Lexi precariously balanced it on top of the coats. This was about the time Brooklyn decided the purse she'd brought was too heavy to carry. You know, the purse I told her to leave in the car. The purse that was filled with a Barbie, lip gloss, 2 crayons, a half-eaten chocolate chip cookie, a snowflake cut from my last sheet of copy paper, a spare Christmas tree light bulb, a bracelet, a bottle of nail polish, a coupon for a can of Carnation evaporated milk, and a pair of socks. You know, because you just never know.
As the concert went on, my kids asked, "Mom, do you see Clayton? Mom? Mom? Where'd she go?" they questioned each other as they stared at the mound of coats on the floor where I'd once been standing. I wearily raised a hand from under a hot pink, size 3T jacket.
"I'm down here," came my muffled reply. "And we're moving to Florida where people don't even own winter coats," I added.