Despite his fear of severe storms, Atticus is fascinated with weather. It’s been his passion since first grade. He dreams of following in the footsteps of Jim Cantore, Mike Seidel, and the like. His imagination allows him to believe he is able to stand in the middle of a hurricane—wind violently whipping around him and rain beating against his body—while reporting the devastation to a stunned nation.
That’s his dream. His reality is a little different. But perhaps someday, when he’s older and wiser, he will conquer his fears and become the Weather Channel’s next big super star.
Until then, he can pretend.
Last weekend, Atticus asked me to order him a jacket. He said it’s the very same jacket the guys at the Weather Channel wear. He was willing to give up all the money he’s been saving from the past few birthdays and Christmas’s. And it would take every penny he had. I nearly fainted from sticker shock when I placed the order for him.
The jacket arrived Friday—just in time for a rainy, windy weekend. He was ecstatic and put it on immediately. He wears it everywhere he goes: Grocery stores, restaurants, and tennis lessons. And he’s convinced himself that we will pack up and go to the Carolinas come hurricane season (we won’t).
He’d be happy to discuss his new jacket with you. Just ask him, and he’ll tell you all about it. On second thought, you don’t have to ask. If he sees you walking down the street, he’ll stop you and tell you all about it.
It’s the official jacket of the Weather Channel (minus the Weather Channel logo). All of the meteorologists in the field wear the same type of jacket during hurricanes, tornadoes, and flash floods. It has four pockets for storage, is made of breathable materials, and it’s weatherproof. I know this because he’s telling anyone who will listen. While I was placing tomatoes in a bag, he told the produce clerk. While I was paying for my groceries, he told the checkout person. While we were waiting for a seat at Cracker Barrel, he told the hostess. Once we were seated, he told the server. You get the picture.
He had a tennis lesson today, so he HAD to wear the jacket to tennis. Not a bad idea since it was a cold, windy day. He couldn’t stop talking to his coach about the wonders of his magical jacket. He also told the coach he wanted to be called Weatherman from now on—no more Mr. Atticus. At first his coach agreed to the new nickname, but then decided to give him a different one – Derecho.
For those wondering, according to weather.gov, a Derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. I had to look that up, but Atticus knew what the coach was talking about and loves the new nickname. We’ll see if it sticks.
As I’m writing, he’s standing outside in shivering-cold rain. He’s been out there, all by himself, for about an hour. Just standing patiently, allowing the rain to fall on him. He doesn’t show any sign of being tired, cold—or wet. The jacket really is magical!
As far as Atticus is concerned, the only thing wrong with his new favorite clothing item is that it’s missing the Weather Channel logo. Never stop dreaming, kid. Perhaps someday you’ll be on all of our television screens, reporting from the beaches of Florida, wearing that official Weather Channel logo you desire.