There was a time when my big kids were little that back to school shopping meant a few grand worth of spending. I cringe to even type that sentence. Entire new wardrobes. Days and days spent at the mall and the outlet shops in Park City. I rationalized it by thinking that for the rest of the year I wouldn’t need to clothes shop again. Of course that didn’t work with the crazy way a kid can shoot up an inch the week after you just outfitted them in all new jeans.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if we had the money, but we didn’t. It all went on credit cards. sigh.
We’re getting ready for the back to school shopping season again. This time I just have the Blue Eyed girl to buy for. She’s going to High School this year. A High School attended by kids who’s credit card limits are higher than most of the teachers who work there. A High School attended by kids who drive nicer cars than most of the teachers who teach there. A High School attended by kids who’s popularity is often based on where they live, how big their houses are, and the brands of their clothes, Not all of the kids of course. But enough to make life for a kid from the bottom of the middle class rung sometimes want to blend into the lockers.
I found myself remembering about the thousand bucks I spent on my Bailey Ann’s wardrobe her first year in High School My goal? To make a beautiful young woman who was quite happy marching to the beat of her own drummer try to fit in.
I can look back now and realize how ridiculous the idea of fitting in is in this world. Fitting in means doing everything the exact same way as everyone else. How many of us are blessed to know who we are and be fantastically happy simply being ourselves.
Think about it.
And here I was trying to get her to fit in.
Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Gone are the days of spending a grand on back to school wardrobes. Gone are the days of thinking if my kids would clone themselves after the herd, their lives would be better.
Today we’ll be going through Kenny’s wardrobe and making of list of just what she needs to go back to school with. We’ll talk about what she can combine with what to make her wardrobe seem bigger and how if she doesn’t get her dirty clothes up and off the floor she can do her laundry herself. (heh) We’ll talk about clubs she can join and how even if there are classes in which she knows not a soul, it won’t be long until she’s made a friend or two to see her through.
Including shoes I’ll spend about $150.00 on her back to school wardrobe. And we are scrambling to even squeeze that out of this month’s budget. There won’t be a month’s worth of new outfits as she starts this new year, but there will be self confidence and belief in herself as she walks out the door her first day of school.
I’d have a much fatter bank account if I had figured this out years earlier. It took almost losing everything before I understood. Even then I still need reminders here and there.
Luckily all my kids are independent souls coloring within their own lines, while so many others are still trying to fit in. I see that as a good sign they’ll be much smarter about this sort of stuff than I ever was.
How is your back to school shopping going? Are you a big back to school wardrobe shopper? Or do you just pick up exactly what your kid needs to fill out their existing wardrobe? If you were to give my Blue Eyed Girl on bit of advice about High School, what would it be?