My friend Babette is from Holland.
She didn’t understand why her American mommy friends were getting their knickers in a twist last week.
I had brought over some strawberry pastries for us to enjoy in stealth while our boys played paper airplanes in their bedroom.
Babette was making shots of coffee for us with her Nespresso machine when she asked me. “So, what’s the big deal about back to school clothes shopping? Why are parents all stressed out about buying new clothes and shoes to wear when school starts?”
“Didn’t you wear new clothes on the first day of school when you were a little girl?” I asked, reminding her I only take decaf.
“School supplies, sure. But, not clothes. We don’t have that practice in the Netherlands.” She replied, passing a cup of warm decaf and sugar for me. “So why did you buy new clothes for TJ and CJ?”
This year, I wanted to save some money. So, I just got a few new outfits for the boys to wear the first week. Nothing major since the kids haven’t outgrown their sizes.
Nobody’s ever asked me this before. The funny thing is, I wasn’t exactly sure why either. “I guess it’s just what you do. You don’t want your kid to feel left out.”
“Yeah, but these are second grade boys. I don’t think they care.” It didn’t make sense to Babette.
I started thinking. “It’s about letting kids know school is important. It’s a special occasion.”
“Yeah, but it’s seems more than that. Everybody’s all stressed out about it.” Babette wasn’t convinced.
I thought some more. “Well, I guess I want to make a good impression for the teachers. I want them to them to know that TJ and CJ are loved and well taken care of.”
“Maybe that’s it,” Babette says, as she joins me with her coffee at the table.
A Different Set of Clothes
Our conversation got me thinking.
I’ve got the the school supply lists checked off and their outfits laid out for the new school year. I’ve got the externals of getting ready lined up. Have I spent as much energy and thought focused on what’s on their hearts and minds as well?
How can I clothe the heart and mind of my boys for the new school year?
How can I clothe my own mommy heart as I meet new children, moms, dads and teachers?
To be continued…
…To read the rest of the story “New Clothes For School: A Mommy’s Prayer” – click here to join me over at DaySpring’s (in)courage site, where today’s post is published.
Take a virtual coffee break together and share your thoughts. I’ve turned off comments here, so we can all meet up there!
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