Sunday, March 16, 2008

This morning, at Mass, I had another one of those "What were the parents thinking?" moments.

There was a boy in church, who was maybe 9 or 10, with a black hoodie on. No problem

However, he back of the jacket had a neon green slogan written on it, and THAT, beyond question, can be filed under "Problem".

The slogan said, and I'm quoting it exactly right down to the punctuation:


Now, you can call me old-fashioned, but I could cheerfully have lived without ever seeing this jacket and its crude inscription, particularly since I encountered it while I was getting in line for Communion, of all things.

So, what were the parents thinking? First of all, what parent would buy a jacket with that slogan on it for their grade-school-aged kid, period and end of sentence? Second of all, what parent would LET THEIR KID WEAR IT TO CHURCH? This is not an indigent parish. We're not a bunch of billionaires, but by gosh this is a neighborhood where people can afford to purchase a slogan-free garment for their kids to wear to church and school. Even if it WERE a neighborhood where most parishoners had, at best, limited funds to spend, I would think that sensible parents would see to it that their kids had clothes that could be worn in polite company.

Arrrrgh. And we wonder why the current crop of kids gets labelled as lacking in manners. It seems like too many of them are being raised without being given any sense that there exists a concept known as Inappropriate Behavior -- that there is such a thing as a time and place where some types of vocabulary, some behaviors, and some garments absolutely do not belong. It's not the KIDS' fault if they're not being brought up to understand that concept. That's a lesson that the PARENTS aren't imparting to their kids. Maybe the parents don't grasp that concept either -- who knows?


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