AS OF POSTING THIS, this sweater has been returned to Momo by a boy at school who picked it up so he could give it back to her, but BOY was this a not-fun experience for everyone involved.

One of the things that plagues me as a parent is that, even though I’m a pretty chill person about the details when it comes to every other aspect of my life, something about the constant daily grind of small, inconsequential crises of parenthood drive me absolutely batty. I can’t explain, to Momo anyway, why her losing her sweater at school made me into an avatar of rage that day.

Because, whatever, right? It’s just a sweater. But, in the context of the delicate balance of life that I orchestrate for her, it symbolizes so much more: like, she’s growing out of her sweaters, and she only has two or three that fit well. Like, this sweater was bought new, not secondhand like most of her clothes, and she’d worn it maybe twice.  Like, it was big enough to last another three winters, easily. Like, I picked it for her specially and bought it as a frivolous luxury, which is a balm for my soul. Like, how every piece of clothing represents an almost unfathomably wide supply chain and comes with an ecological footprint larger than its price tag. But you can’t explain to a six-year-old any of that, which is frustrating to me, and only makes it worse. And she’s only a little kid! I can’t honestly expect her to remember everything, anyway!

I wish it was easier for me to take a deep breath and let it go, but it’s something I’ve struggled with the entire time I’ve been a parent. I just get so wound up by the little things, like everything is the straw that broke the camel’s back.