Thursday, September 3, 2009

If Everyone Started Off as Equal

If anyone has ever struggled with purchasing school clothes for your children or remember the hassel in your own childhood to get the right look, hopefully you will be empathetic to what you are about to read.

I got this notice some years back that the elementary public school system was going to make it mandatory for all children to wear uniforms. My first reaction was that someone was reaching into my family and trying to control what I do with my children. My plan: I had to fight this. All of my reasoning seemed rational enough though I detested going through that mall maze with other parents trying to make the children happy with the latest fad. It would just be something different next season, costing more than you planned. Knowing some child wouldn't have it (more than likely mine) and compensating throughout the year was a guilt trip I wouldn't wish on anyone. Yet, no one should control what I do and don't with my children.

Given ample time, it came right to the last minute when my child was given notice to comply with the rules. Rules? A dress code has now become a rule for parents to abide by? I won't do it! I thought, looking at my child what I could afford and barely making ends meet, I knew financially and for peace of mind, it was the best thing for the children and to alleviate whatever administration was going through just to get the uniform rules passed.

All of my children have since graduated high school and have gone to college. My son recently mentioned what a good idea school uniforms were. He said the kids whose parents had more money couldn't lord their designer clothes over the poorer kids. I realized that it was a learning tool for the children to get to know each other looking beyond the outward appearance.

I thought about that for a moment and still dispelled with what might have been good intentions. Though the playing field might have been leveled for everyone to start out as equals, it is still the parents that caused the differences with the children. Those that wouldn't do for their children (clean, provide, find the right fit, laundry, etc.) didn't change their ways. Given a few semesters those same children who didn't have, due to neglect, had dingy shirts with missing buttons, the pants were too tight or too big and the hand-me-down shoes never did look well on anyone.

I might have struggled and fought the system for a moment or two, but when given an opportunity for my children not to be considered the lowest on the social curve, I met it and assisted with what I could do for them to desire to do more.

I have 5 children all of which are college bound. Degrees range from a family doctor to a culinary artist. I thank God that finally the government came up with a good idea where the only ones to blame for not catching the blessing is the parent.
(Proverbs 20:7 AMP)