Today I was called out on not having weather-appropriate shoes by an eight-year-old. Surprisingly enough, it was not the first time an eight-year-old boy has weighed in on my attire.
This afternoon we were out on the playground, kids frolicking in the light dusting of flakes that had begun falling. I had just intervened in a playground collision incident between a couple of kids in the other third grade class, which ended with Mykell and Donivan both coming out alright. Just before she bounded away to play, I noticed that Mykell had some fantastic striped rainbow socks, and complimented them. The three of us all peered down to behold the footwear, and Donivan exclaimed, "Who wears that in winter??" Some seasonal faux-pas had left him as incredulous as a reality TV star trashing a cast-mate's outfit.
"Wears what?" I asked, wondering what could be so non-winter about the rainbow socks.
"You! What you're wearing! Your shoes!" he said.
I looked down to assess the situation. On the snow-preparedness scale, I suppose my teachery shoes and dress socks would rate fairly low. I had dressed my feet for standing and checking geometry work, for sitting and listening to kids read, for walking to and from the copier, for communicating to the world, "This is my job!"
But Donivan knew what a huge mistake I had made in not dressing my feet for extreme weather. "This lady is leaving herself susceptible to the elements!" he must have thought. "If an avalanche occurs, she is guaranteed to get frostbite. I mean, what if we end up outside for 6 hours in a blizzard? Those thin socks will just not cut it. Or what if we encounter a sheet of ice and she can't get any traction? Winter shoes should communicate to the world, 'I am prepared for survival!' "
Donivan dashed off, with the super-sonic speed, ultra-grip traction, and cozy warmth of someone making better choices with their life. I wandered over to see which of the perpetual "No, I'm not out!" debates I could help settle at the Four Square game.
On the way, I passed a kid who had stripped down to a long-sleeved shirt. "Get your coat on! It's too cold out for you to be wearing that!" I told him.
I mean, who wears that in winter?