Raincoats on the Floor

 By Paul Sawyier [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Sawyier [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It was a rainy Friday afternoon with a chilly wind blowing when I prepared the younger progeny of my brood to face the wet and wild elements for our walk to pick-up their older sister from school. We left in a parade of raincoats, umbrellas and boots, enjoying every puddle along the way. The walk to school is short, but—if you’re lucky—very splashy.

After collecting Big Sis, we wended a wet and cheery way back to the homestead. And now that the school pick-up was accomplished, we were officially launched on a three-day weekend!

I opened the front door and let the kids in while I put the stroller away in the garage. When I came back and walked through the door, the first sight that met my eyes was a trail of little kids’ raincoats strewn upon the floor, leading from the front door across the living room.


I could hear the kids talking, back in their brother’s room. I started after them, prepared to impart some stern paternal reminders about proper raiment care and handling. But as I turned a corner, I caught a glimpse of them through the bedroom doorway down the hall. The little boys lay on the “cityscape” carpet, pushing cars around. The older kids were draped across the bed, and lounging against a pillow the oldest sister was holding court on the wonders and high-drama that is first grade. They all looked so content, just talking and playing and hanging out together, that I hesitated to roust them from their cozy companionship.

I went back to the living room and stood for a moment, my hands on my hips, gazing upon the disarray of discarded coats. In one part of my parental psyche a thought had been taking shape that was going to sound something like, “If I’ve told them once, I’ve told them a thousand times . . .”

But that thought never got fully formed. Instead, something else bubbled up, from where I know not, and eclipsed the budding admonition before it could get up a head of steam. Instead, I found myself standing there and unexpectedly . . .

I smiled.

I couldn’t help it. Something about all those little raincoats, pink and purple and dinosaur-printed, just made my heart glad. And they conveyed a message that said: we are all here, we are together, we are home.

Yes, the kids would have to be reminded (again) not to leave items of clothing to lie wherever chance might dictate they drop after the conclusion of their last time worn.

But not just now. The family was gathered, happy and peaceful. Everyone was healthy and well. The kids were enjoying each other’s company. And we had time, with nowhere we had to be and nothing we had to do, to just be together.

I was suddenly conscious of my cup of blessings overflowing.

Now was a time to say, “Thank You, Jesus.”

Scripture tells us: “In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thes 5, 18.

Even amid a scattering of drippy, diminutive raincoats. Maybe especially then.

Copyright 2016 Jake Frost


About Author

Jake Frost is the author of The Happy Jar, (a children’s picture book), Catholic Dad, (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family and Fatherhood to Encourage and Inspire, and a book of poetry, From Dust to Stars. He is a lawyer in hiatus, having temporarily traded depositions for diapers and court rooms for kitchens to care for his young children. He comes from a large family in a small town of the Midwest, and lives near the Mississippi River with his wife and kids.

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