Shorts in January


You’re picking up your kid at school and you see a child running around outside. It’s 27 degrees and he’s wearing shorts.

Do you immediately judge his parents? Do you think they are too stupid to know it’s cold outside? Or do you think they have lost all control of their kids?

Or worse, are YOU his parent?

As the parent of not one but two of those shorts-wearing ding-dongs, I will in no way defend their clothing choices, although I did encourage them to change their clothes at least three times over the winter break.

But it’s a new year. Can we all agree now to put our collective feet down and encourage/force our teens and pre-teens to put on a pair of pants, for Pete’s sake?

Three years ago, my then-fourth grader and a friend played a game of chicken with the shorts, with neither wanting to be the first to come to school in long pants. It was the recess monitor who finally put an end to it, deciding that they couldn’t go outside for recess without their shins being covered.

With that now-seventh grader in a sleepy post-vacation haze this morning, I told him the outside temperature and handed him a pair of pants, all warm and cozy from the dryer. No eye rolling. No sighing. I watched in amazement as he walked down the driveway to the school bus. (Granted, he wasn’t wearing a winter jacket, but we’ll deal with that another day.)

So are you in? Let’s do this. No more shorts.

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