It's getting chilly outside and the boys have been in need of a few additions to their wardrobes, so on Monday morning we all went clothes shopping. We spent what felt like a lot of money until I reminded myself that we haven't needed to buy a school uniform, PE kit and school shoes, and then I saw the clothes we were buying as kind of an alternative! Alternative clothes for an alternative education!
During August I felt a sense of relief that I hadn't had to go uniform shopping; relieved because it was something less to think about, but relieved also because I wasn't keen on the idea of Joseph in a uniform anyway. I understand that uniforms can lend a sense of identity, but at the tender age of four I'm more interested in Joseph establishing a sense of his own identity and the essence of who he feels he is before he identifies too heavily with any outside structure. The uniform for me represents the subjagation of the unique, individual child; I realise this may sound extreme but it is truly how I feel, and I know no other way to express it! When Oliver and I went to look around a local primary school last year the head teacher told us "the children put on their school uniforms and they know they are here to work!" WORK!! She didn't even say learn! I didn't want Joseph to develop the idea that this is what life is all about when I feel so strongly to the contrary, so I was relieved not to be buying bundles of grey and white school clothes, and instead to be filling his cupboards with colour!