So it’s back to school time again and as I’m going through my son’s clothes to see what still fits and what needs to be donated, I’m reminded once again (at least in my head anyway) about what a terrible mom I must seem like to all the other fashion-conscious mommies out there.
Most of my son’s jeans are from WalMart (either Faded Glory or Wranglers brand) or Old Navy, because those brands are the ones that fit him the best even if they’re not the coolest or most stylish. It’s hard to find cool/stylish pants when you’ve got a 13 1/2 year old who is only a few inches away from being six feet tall and the body composition of a stick insect. My mother in law took him shopping the other day when I had a training day I HAD to be at and he came home with a pair of green camo print skinny jeans that I swear make him look like he’s wearing girls’ leggings. He thinks they’re the bomb and all I can think is “Well at least he’s not naked..this time.”
Apparently, according to the style mom bloggers, surf style (despite us being at least six hours from the coast) is all the rage. And if your kid is not decked out in Hollister, Zumiez, Thrasher, Element, Huf or Brixton Diamond…well then you’ve done screwed up. Also, they must be wearing Vans or Jordans. Other shoes apparently just DO NOT compare.
I guess my mother in law gets some points then for picking up a pair of ash-gray canvas Vans for him though, which he absolutely adores. He couldn’t stop showing them off to EVERYBODY at Meet The Teacher the other night.
Apparently, also, a cool haircut is everything. If you’ve got all the right clothes but the wrong hair cut you might as well consider yourself a pariah right now because it’s essentially social suicide. Apparently.
Ever since my son got head lice three summers ago, he’s had a buzz cut. It’s easy to wash, dries quickly (which is important since he has thick hair like I do that doesn’t dry fast if it’s long) and he doesn’t even have to comb it. This kind of hair style is wrong, though, apparently. When I google “Cool Hairstyles for Middle School Boys”, I am told that the long, shaggy but sorta styled Taylor Lautner in the first Twilight movie is in. As is Jake Paul’s hairstyle (oh god WHY?) and this half shaved thing where it’s shaved really close everywhere but the very top which is left long and styled with what I can only assume is some sort of super pomade that can resist winds up to 60 miles an hour because from the pictures I’ve seen, their hair literally looks bulletproof.
So far I don’t seem to be gaining any points here. My son’s wardrobe consists mainly of character tees or souvenier tees we bought somewhere and what I call “normal leg” jeans..not skinny jeans but not exactly wide leg either. He doesn’t own any dress clothes because we don’t go to church or other places that require him to dress up in some kind of way (he does own a couple of nice polos, but that’s the extent of it really).
Being autistic, my son already kind of has the deck stacked against him socially. I know I’m probably setting him up for more massive social fail but when you can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on cool clothes, I don’t know what else you’re supposed to do.
Aaaannnd…now I’m putting on my aluminum colander hat and grabbing my giant rubber trashcan lid shield. You kind of have to anticipate the haters so they don’t sneak up on you.
It’s hard being a parent these days…everywhere you turn, you’re being told you’re doing SOMETHING wrong. Sometimes it just gets too exhausting to deal with, yanno? I get so tired of hearing “Well you’re screwing THIS up because of reasons.” or “If you’d just do this instead, your son wouldn’t (insert thing here).”
Look, people…I am doing the best I can with limited experience (I’ve never had a teenager before, after all) and with a tight budget. I don’t know what else I can do other than grope my way forward in the dark like Gollum searching for the lost One Ring.