My son and I had a bit of a debate this morning about appropriate clothing for the weather: It was 15F when we left for school and it’s not forecast to get above about 25F today. He had on a thin long-sleeve shirt with a t-shirt underneath, no coat, no hat, no gloves. I suggested, rather firmly, that it was probably not appropriate for the weather and he added a hat and a decent, though not heavy, winter coat.
Then on the way to school we saw a boy walking along the side of the road wearing shorts and with wet hair. And looking absolutely freezing, with a red nose and red cheeks. “Sheesh, that’s a boy whose parents don’t help him get dressed in the morning!” I say, and my son grunts.
We needed to grab some fruit to add to his lunch, so we popped into the local market and what did we see in front of us in the checkout line but another boy also dressed in shorts. And his Mom standing next to him, chatting away.
Yup. So it’s not that the boy needed a parent to help him dress appropriately for the weather — pneumonia is not fun! — but that his Mom needed to be more aware of his outfit and its health-threatening inappropriateness for the weather.
I didn’t say anything, however, because, well, because it’s not my son and I don’t like to stick my nose in other people’s business. Perhaps their deal is that he can wear whatever he wants, but he then has to suffer through the natural consequences of dressing inappropriately?
In any case, it did make me realize just how lucky my children are to have a Dad who is so connected that he’s willing to get into a small argument to ensure that they are warmly dressed on a cold morning. To me, it seems like parenting 101, but apparently not…