The Toy Story backpack selected by my son during our back to school shopping trip the summer before fifth grade had me tongue tied.
“Should Mom be the one to tell him that most kids his age have graduated from wearing cartoon characters, or should I risk insecure feelings that may come when this “coolness” lesson is learned through the school of life?, I wondered.
The sadness about having to grow up portrayed so well in the Toy Story movies eventually got to me, and I kept my mouth shut.
Maybe I was out of touch with the ten year old world, I thought. Maybe kids are nicer and less concerned with appearance than I assume. Besides, it’s just a bag. As long as it carries your items, that’s all that matters. Or is it?
My non-fashion conscious train of thought came to a screeching halt day I got - what I like to call “coached.”
The Bridal shower gift that did it was pearly white in color with glowing gold accents. The pockets were amply sized, the zippers obviously very durable. The fabric was thick, and decorated with a repeating letter C pattern that I had noticed before but clearly not understood. Coach.
Squeals rung out the moment the Mom to be lifted it from it’s perfectly wrapped box. Then the comments came.
“Your Daddy scored some points this time!”
“Now I can’t stand next to you carrying this bag from Target.”
“You sure didn’t get THAT free at the hospital.”
“I’m so jealous!”
I myself was without words to add. Although I appreciated the quality of the bag and would have loved to carry it myself, I was not as jealous as I was confused. I had gone through four free hospital bags, and loved them all! Had I been walking around looking sub par all these years and not even known it?
It took only a few seconds for me to snap out of my adult version of Toy Story backpack trauma that I had worried my son may face. I was able to smile at myself and others the rest of the shower, sharing in the joy brought from such a perfectly personalized gift.
Then came time for me to select my next diaper bag. Child #5 was on the way, and I had heard the freebie bags were offered by the hospital no more. Comments from the day I was “coached” swum through my head as I debated about how much money to spend. Tips I’d heard from a beauty seminar about color and design further clouded my ability to choose. I wanted to look put together and have all my gear organized. I also wanted to stay within a budget, and not give in to materialistic marketing. After concluding that I had spent way to much time thinking such a trivial thing over, I decided to take the peer pressure and BAG IT!
I drove straight to D.I. , rummaged through the rack until I found a bag that would work, paid my $3.00, and was on my way.
“When I no longer need to carry bulky diapers, smashed cheerios, and leaky bottles, I will spend money on the perfect purse. “ I thought.