All together now

I may be preaching to the choir here.

But if your children attend private schools, or even public schools that require a strict uniform or school dress code, you know the positives in this mandate.

First, for those of us pinching the budget pennies with plenty of school-age children to purchase a clothing and shoe wardrobe for every time they grow another inch, we know that school uniforms are durable – hurray for hand-me-downs — and cost less than street clothes. They blur the line between the haves versus have-nots. And school uniforms eliminate the morning routine issues revolving around the inevitable arguments that begin with, “What am I going to wear today?” and end with, “Oh, no, you’re not leaving the house like that.”

Best of all, school uniforms and tight dress codes put the modesty back in school dress, allowing the school focus to be back where it belongs: Learning.

Today, I found a whole new reason to be sold on the school uniform.

Shared solidarity.

My friend left us last week and, at her funeral, we said our final farewells. She was gone too soon and there were many tears. In the front row, of course, were her three children, two in college and one a junior in high school, and her brave husband.

From the pew where I sat with my own husband, I could just barely see them. It was a wall-to-wall crowd. Behind me, and above me in the balcony, sat hundreds of young men and women, her son’s high school classmates, teammates and friends.

All in uniform.

Maroon plaid skirts, white blouses, knee-high socks, khaki pants and ties. Hundreds of them. They came together, to support their friend, a member of their school community, and they sang.

As “Then Sings My Soul …” rang out from behind me, together, these fresh, young voices formed a whole that filled the emptiness of our hearts that we longed for. They represented not only strength in numbers, but community at its best. The school uniforms somehow created a symbolic unity for those of us who didn’t even belong to the school. Our shared suffering was comforted by a communion of souls.

My musically-gifted friend would have clasped her hands in joy. And I believe she did.

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1 Comment

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One response to “All together now

  1. Sue Johnson

    Chills run through my body as I read your post. I can only imagine what a beautiful sight it was to see all of Frankie’s friends and classmates clad in their school uniforms. No specific name was needed……the colors did all the talking. The hymn, “How Great Thou Art” is my favorite.

    It has been more than 2 months since my long time school friend’s beautiful daughter Cheryl has passed, but I take much satisfaction in reading the many comments on caring bridge about her. Her husband did a fantastic job keeping everyone updated on Cheryl…….oh how we prayed that she would beat her illness…….God had his own plan for her and whisked her back to Heaven. If there is a piano up there, surely Cheryl was at the keyboard.

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