I have a hobby. I’m obsessed with consigning my kids clothes, and shopping at thrift stores and rummage sales. Hand-me-downs? Count me in. I think it stems from my days in the mid-90’s when I worked at Gap Kids in SF. I loved merchandising tiny outfits. I loved selling baby clothes decades before I had my own. I’m really not a fashionable person as an adult, (black pants and Danskos are my uniform) but something about bargain, quality used kids clothing really make me happy.
So this year, I vowed I will buy nothing new for my children– no new clothes or shoes. Everything will be second hand. Mind you– I stocked them on underwear and socks in Dec, so they should be all set. So far so good. When I need to relax after a tough week of teaching, I will venture off to the nearest Goodwill and comb the kid aisles for Stride Rite shoes, Hanna Andersson patterns, Tea dresses, and Crewcuts skirts. Children’s games and books– I buy for less than a dollar each. When my children grow out of something, I consign it. If it has a little stain, I give them to our neighbors as “play clothes”. It’s my way to recycle, my Crossword Puzzle, my Sudoku, my knitting, my social media, my guilty pleasure. I’ve been known to go out on my own to the library, and then speed off afterward for a quick tour of Goodwill before I go home. I pay cash so there’s no record of my addiction, but sometimes I do admit where I’m going to my family.
“Want to come with me?” I ask my family. Usually it’s a resounding “No! ”