For longer than I care to admit, I have bought into the concept of “fall back-to-school fashions” as envisioned by retailers nationwide. Back to school fashion means abandoning faded t-shirts and khaki shorts for autumn-hued sweaters and thick corduroy trousers to wear stomping in crackly maple leaves.
Or hopping off the ubiquitous yellow school bus in cable-knit stockings and solid jean jumpers with the smell of wood burning in fireplaces wafting through the cold, still air. Perhaps a dapper plaid hat is added to the mix? A comfy scarf wrapped around the neck? Brown leather shoes!
Yes, fall has arrived!
Problem is, fall hasn’t arrived here in sunny northern California by the time children are marching back to the classrooms. The autumn months here are known for their long “Indian summer” days of sunny skies with record temperatures.
Has that stopped me from giving in to the retail buyers’ “vision” of fall? Have my children sweated through recess on their first day back to school in heavy fall clothing? Before I answer that I’ll share with you how cute they looked—during the first photo taken at the front door, before they stripped down halfway through recess in a desperate attempt to cool off. I, too, remember that first day of school, partly for the memory of happily flinging off my heavy, hot, fall outfit the moment I arrived home and donning a faded t-shirt and cool khaki shorts.
It’s almost a twisted right of passage.
This year will be different. My kids will enjoy their first weeks of school in appropriate warm weather clothing, though not faded t-shirts and khaki shorts.
Come Halloween when the weather tends to take a turn towards fall, chilly nights, and we often receive our first rainy days, I’ll allow myself to buzz happily over the fall clothing in the store windows.
By then, however, the retail shops will be bursting with Christmas-themed pajamas and Santa red sweaters, garments which adorned in November may be a greater fashion faux pas than donning a faded t-shirt and khaki shorts.
But don’t tell my kids.