Wednesday, July 31, 2013

No New Back Pack; We're Going For the Shabby Chic Look

It seems that yesterday's rant post about back to school supplies resonated with a few of you. Let me add fuel to the fire by stating that I won't be getting the kiddo a new back pack or lunch box this year. The ones she has are both in decent condition and I refuse to be swayed by consumerism. OK, I know that next year, year after that at the latest, the kiddo is going to want the "It" back pack (no licensed characters, please!), and I know that I will have to compromise a bit, for the sake of my sanity. So, as long as I can get away with it, I am going to reuse and recycle. The back pack is a little dingy and has a small hole in it--but it can be washed and repaired. I may even use a cute patch on it instead of plain, ugly duct tape. Oh, and for the record, neither her back pack or lunch box is monogrammed. Instead, they both have her name and initials written on them with a Sharpie, in my relatively neat, steady hand writing. Don't get me wrong--I would spoil the kiddo if I could, but that would result in (1) a spoiled kiddo, (2) money wasted on said spoiling, and (3) the lesson that things like new, monogrammed back packs and lunch boxes every year is the norm. By the way, did you know that in Guatemala, children are not allowed to attend school if they don't own a pair of shoes? In families with many children, the boys are provided for first, so that means that many girls are not able to go to school because the parents can't afford shoes for them. Instead, they often help their mothers by preparing food to sell on the street, sometimes right outside the schools they are not allowed to attend. I visited a school in Guatemala and was heartbroken to see girls looking wistfully in the windows. Is getting a new back pack or lunch box every single year really so important?

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