I grew up with a fondness for hand-me-down clothing. Everytime someone gave my Mom a bag of their daughter's outgrown, boring clothes it was on those days that I had hit the jackpot! Of course, at that age this was not something I wanted anyone to know least my classmates, but it was always a special event to me to be handed down those clothes. I got a new wardrobe. Who cares where they came from or if they were previously worn.
I've heard that many children who were forced to wear hand-me-downs as a child grow up to loathe anything second hand, but that wasn't the case for me. We just didn't have a lot of money to spend on expensive clothing. Naturally, I grew up to pass this trait onto my children-- at least most of them.
I had quietly been trying to pass on a few rules for wearing the hand-me-down clothing as well. I knew my rules were a bit prideful so I thought of them more as a guide to the unspoken proper etiquette of wearing second hand clothing. I was trying to subtly teach them to my girls because coming out and just telling them-- "Don't wear that dress to church because so and so who gave it to you will see you wearing it," sounded so hypocritical. I knew better than to teach my girls to be like that. I had managed for the longest time to keep my girls from wearing clothing to the same place that the giver would be at until they were given a bunch of pretty dresses from a family who attends our church. This would be a huge problem since these dresses would mainly be worn at you guessed it-- church.
This past weekend, two of my daughter's proudly and beautifully wore two of the dresses. I couldn't come up with one reason for them not to wear them-- and finally I had come to the point where I realized how wrong I have been in the past to secretly keep up this charade. So what if my children wear hand-me-downs? And so what if the family who gave them to us sees us wearing them? If my daughter's don't care-- why should I?
I am very thankful that we always have enough clothes both new and gently used. What a blessing to not always have to buy everything new. In return, we are able to give the clothes that are no longer being worn in our home to other families in our community who can benefit from them just like we do. Thank you God for using my children to open my eyes and to teach me.