Written on August 14, 2009.
It was the Sunday evening of tax-free weekend, and somehow I managed to get out of the house on my own and travel to Wal-Mart to see if I could pick up Caleb's preschool supplies and perhaps a clothing item or two (if the price was right). I did have a pair of shoes in mind for Caleb after seeing them at the Wal-Mart in Kalamazoo (yes, I went to Wal-Mart several times on my vacation)!
As I walked through the kids shoe aisle, I noticed a young mom with her son, trying on a pair or two. I looked to see which ones they were looking at, and I'm pretty sure they were the same kind that I wanted to buy for Caleb. Since the aisle was full, I pushed my cart to the next one where the girl shoes were located. But I was close enough to overhear what the mom said to the boy.
"Now we're going to keep these shoes in a box in your closet, and if I hear you complaining about [such and such...I don't remember what she specifically said] we are going to take your COOL PUMA SHOES away and you will have to wear these not-so-cool shoes."
For a moment, I think my heart skipped a beat. I'm not sure if I was mad, frustrated, embarrassed, who knows. I do know that I felt something.
I thought to myself, "So if my children were around her children, they would know for sure that my kids had not-so-cool shoes on. Not because THEY would have thought it on their own, but they were TOLD so."
I did not buy those shoes that night. That comment did not keep me from buying them, but I have to admit, it was really hard to hear for some reason. It was upsetting that a child was already being taught that something was cool or not as determined by the name brand or where it was purchased. As I've shared before, my kids have lived in hand-me-downs their entire lives. When I do find something new, it's like these shoes I'm writing about for only $10.
So I'm still trying to digest that experience. It makes school uniforms all that much more appealing.
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