So, like Patrick, I work in retail. I don't want to name names, but the store I work for rhymes with "Cold Gravy." And like many of you, my kids went back to school this week (cue Hallelujah Chorus). And where school and retail meet is a lovely thing we like to call: back to school clothes.
The last few weeks have been pretty crazy at my store while everyone rushes to get all their school clothes pulled together. And, in theory, I think it is a great idea to stock up on school clothes now - there are some great sales. But I haven't bought a single thing for my kids to wear, other than some jeans for my oldest. I am impressed with those moms and dads who have it together enought to make a big list and get all the clothes for the whole year in one trip. I am never that organized. We pick up bits and pieces as the year goes along.
But there is one thing I kinda don't get. The first day of school outfit. Sure, you made that list and got all those cute new clothes, and sure, you want your kids to look great on the first day, and they might as well wear the new stuff that is unstained. But here is the one problem with that plan: it is still really hot!!
I marvel seeing everyone's facebook updates this week with their kids in shiny new outfits, usually involving a long sleeved shirt and jeans. Because that is all the stores have right now, I know! If someone comes into my store asking for a short sleeved t-shirt or a pair of shorts, I laugh in their face. We haven't had shorts since July. So you do your back to school shopping, you get little Judy and McKay some cute fall outfits, and then, because you want a great picture, they go to school in a turtleneck and mukluks.
I've fallen victim to it too. I've worked in retail since college and would always but a new outfit for the first day of classes. I vividly remember my outfit one year: orange cordurouy pants (man, I still wish I owned those), a denim shirt and a brown merino wool cardigan with suede panels on the front. It was awesome. And I nearly died of heat stroke, because when school starts in Utah it is usually about 96 degrees outside.
We did try to choose the least dirty and least stained shorts and t-shirts for our kids to wear to school today. And I did barely manage to get one picture (seen above). Even that almost didn't happen because one child made the bus this morning and one missed it. We managed to meet up at the school and snap that beaut.
After taking that photo and helping the kids find their classrooms, I saw plenty of kids there in long pants, long sleeve tees underneath long sleeve button up shirts, girls in long leggings, and one kid in a leather vest. (If you show up at my store looking for a leather vest, I will laugh in your face. We haven't had leather vests since July!) And I am impressed with their parents for having it so together. And I worry that those kids will be hospitalized by lunchtime.
So happy first week of school to all those parents out there! Go get yourself a big diet coke and kick your feet up. You deserve it. And get your kids some ice water while you are at it. They're going to come home warm this week.