My mother’s pockets

My mom’s old navy blue zip-up jogger sweatshirt hung from the duck pegs next to the front door for most of the years of my life on Lange Street. At one point there was a burgundy version of it, and then a green-and-gray combo. But mostly I remember the navy blue one.

When I was a child, I have a memory of wearing my mother’s navy blue sweatshirt- probably because I was cold and it was the closest and coziest thing at hand (and I was too lazy to go find something of my own). I remember dipping my hands into one of the pockets and pulling out a jumble of junk: a ball of Sadie’s yellow hair, a cottony wisp of fuzz (dryer lint), a chewed Lego block, the plastic tennis racket charm from my charm necklace (I was looking for that!)…What was this random assortment of odds and ends and why was it in my mother’s pocket? My mother keeps a tidy and clean house- why were her pockets so messy?

I never asked her. I just never put my hands in the pockets of the navy blue sweatshirt again, afraid of what other questionable castoffs might be hidden in there.

This afternoon and some thirty-four years later while cleaning my own house, the stretch of my (also navy blue) yoga pants pocket was put to the test as I stuffed it with Hefti household flotsam: a snippet of yellow yarn, the top bit of a pencil, a scrap of light blue construction paper, pebbles, a Lego head; a used dryer sheet; a green pipe cleaner.

All these years later, the pockets of my mother’s navy blue sweatshirt suddenly made the most sense in the world. Her pockets were filled with love.

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