Must Be Nice

After a polite greeting, the young woman at the garage sale pointed out my three boys with delight. “I’ve got an entire rack of name brand boy’s clothes!” she cheered.

My boys pretended not to hear her. I wanted to do the same.

“The sweatshirts are only $20! That’s less than half the price I paid for them brand new!”

I wanted to pretend not to hear that, too.

I wasn’t sure whether to feel badly about being unable to afford name brand clothing for my children or feel badly for the parents who spend their hard earned money on name brand clothing just to have it end up in their garage sale for less than half the price they paid for it. I quickly decided that both feelings were about as productive as her trying to sell me her son’s stiff-priced secondhand clothing.

“Um. We homeschool. The kids don’t even know or care about name brand clothes. But thank you, though.”

I felt badly about her sale falling through, and eyed up an escape route toward a table of coffee mugs to avoid having to notice if she felt badly about it too.

“Must be nice.”

I could tell by the softening of her voice and posture she was being sincere. I could tell she believed that, unlike her, I was unburdened by the pressure to supply my children with what the world thinks they should have. I’m not sure any parent is free from it. We just wear different chains.

I didn’t tell her any of this, though. I just forced a polite smile and replied,

“It is.”

 

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