Why Sean needs to wear a sweater or jacket or something

Sean, our second offspring, is his father’s child in so many ways.  One of them is that he never gets cold.  Or claims he never gets cold.

When he was in 2nd grade, I asked him if he was ready for school.  He said “Yep.” and started heading to the door, in his jeans, short sleeved t-shirt, and backpack on.

I said “Stop.”

He said “What?”

“Aren’t you forgetting something?”

Frown.  “No?”

“Your coat?”

Sean looked at me, all big blue eyes and seriousness.  “I need a coat?”

I pointed to the big picture window.  “It’s January, it’s below 32 degrees and it’s snowing.  You need a coat.”


<headthunk from mom>

I had to make a deal with him in elementary school, that he had to wear a hoodie if it was under 60 degrees.  If it was below 50 degrees, he had to zip it up.  If it hit 45 degrees, he had to wear his winter coat.  If it went below freezing, he had to zip it up.

This worked out well, and then he seemed to hit an age where he didn’t need coat reminders.  And then we moved to Ireland.

Now, Irish weather is pretty much the same – dampish, 50-something degrees.  A heat wave is when it hits 70 and there’s sun.  Sean’s been enjoying this weather because he doesn’t need a coat or jacket. And school is just a quick dart across the street and down the block.  So there’s really no time for him to get cold.  While other boys are wearing coats over their school sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, etc, my son is the boy in his shirt sleeves.  His school sweater shrank last winter, and by the time we replaced it, he learned he didn’t have to wear. Right after that, his class was going to see “War Horse” and his teacher found him a school jacket to wear, because they were walking to the cinema and the teacher was afraid Sean would get cold.

Sean brought the jacket home in his backpack.


So Winter has really hit Ireland this week.  There’s snow in the hills and ice falling from the skies.  And yet, there’s Sean, in his short sleeves and me going “For God’s sake, wear a jacket!”   He still swears he’s not cold, but the goosebumps on his arms tell a different tale.  I’ve tried telling him that we spent 56 euros on the school sweater, we WILL get our money’s worth out of it.  I told him that little Irish grannies are probably weeping for him and wondering why his mother won’t provide warm clothing for him.

Tonight, I finally told him that he needs to at least wear his sweater to school tomorrow.  Because it’s snowing, etc.

This is how it went though –

“Wear your sweater for God’s sake, it’s cold out there!  Honestly, if we were all in the car, in the mountains, and the car died and we were stranded, you’ll be the first to go.  We’ll have to eat you because you’ll be the first to freeze to death!”

He laughed.


Sean in Rome, in January.  It was 54 degrees and sunny.
Sean in Rome, in January. It was 54 degrees and sunny. The rest of us had jackets on.