With the kids returning to school this month, it’s the time of year to guard against all sorts of ailments being brought back by the mucky monsters. It’s also the prime time for them to gain the upper hand on their peers within the strict confines of uniform policies. Despite impending old age, I’m still just about young enough to remember the annual shopping trip for new school shoes and a coat that “will have to last you all year”, but rarely would it.
Every year around this time the local paper in every UK city depicts a stern-faced parent with their reluctant child next to them on a sofa, fully uniformed up, looking dapper yet excluded because their shoes aren’t quite awful enough. Statements about ‘standards’ from headmasters are printed, missing the point that they’re custodians of the next generation, not a workhouse.
Bullying is no joke, so it’s tough on schools to ensure a degree of consistency, but as a father of three lads, I can’t be sending them to school in stuff that will get them laughed at and/or battered. They need to be taught to be an individual, not a robot. Let them all wear whatever they want, I say. Empower them. If some of them then decide to terrorise the kid wearing awful footwear and an ill-fitting jacket, address their need to be horrible, rather than forcing everyone to dress the same. Deal with nasty kids. If they’re going to be horrible, they’ll find a way.
I digress. My point here is simple. We should all be encouraged to wear whatever we want. And right now, as I sit here feeling the grip of autumn on my shoulder, I really want to wear a hand crochet cardigan with chunky open-knit pima cotton, knitted by hand. Knitted by hand in Peru. By a women’s collective. Yeah, that’s the mood I’m in, and no teacher is putting me in detention for it.
Sure, it’s a spendy purchase, but one must pay for garments of such gravitas, especially if the aforementioned Peruvian women’s collective have taken more than 72 hours to put it together. Which they have, apparently.
In unrelated news, I’ve been listening to Pentangle for the last hour.
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