My wife and I took our 12-year-old son to the mall to let him choose clothes for himself, to find his own look, his style.
We tried a department store, but my wife and I snubbed everything. Ditto at a bunch of other shops in the mall. We were quickly beginning to worry about what to buy for our son – or what he would choose for himself because that, of course, was our aim. It was to be his choice, not ours.
After a while, we wound up at a surf shop, and that made it all very easy. We found a hooded flannel shirt, a T-shirt and a sweatshirt, all very surfer.
“Well?” my wife asked our son as he showed us his new duds.
“Good,” he said, before adding: “If you want me to look like Dad.”
Yep, I thought.
But I stopped myself, and thought we must let him experiment and try out styles to find his own. The trouble is that it’s hard to let him become him.