The other day a friend of mine and I were talking about just how different our children’s lives are from our own. We lavish our children with much more praise and even more so with material things beyond our inner child’s wildest dreams. For me, coming from my Pakistani immigrant family, things like annual trips to Pakistan took priority over, say, me having a Barbie dream house. I still vividly remember chasing after goats in my dad’s village, watching my mom attempt to haggle with vendors at the bazaars (being in America so long made her lose her edge a bit), and sitting down to dinner on a tablecloth laid on the floor with my cousins, sipping 7up from a bottle and cracking up laughing from the resulting sugar rush until our sides hurt.
I personally never owned any designer clothing or shoes growing up (nor did I miss it) – and I knew very well not to bother nagging my mother to buy me toys because she was definitely going to say no. The only places where money was no object for us was back to school shopping, for necessities like protractors and pencil cases, or the book store where we knew we could roam and pick up books on every topic and dad would happily pick up the tab.
There is nothing wrong with having ‘things’ – particularly if you have the money – but I worry that our kids today will grow up without any appreciation for things and end up behaving like a ‘Rich Kid of Beverly Hills’ or something – (Please God strike me down if that ever happens).
I’m somewhere in the middle, Adam will get the occasional splurge – like his motorized Jeep or Nike shoes, but for the most part I want to teach him the values my parents taught me – experiences over things, and education over everything.
This year Adam officially begins Pre-Kindergarten (sniff sniff…) and I’m outfitting him with high quality clothes and shoes and also this new Fjallraven Kanken mini backpack. Fjallraven backpack’s are not only super chic (I have this one for myself too) but they are sold at J.Crew, Urban Outfitters, Shopbob, and Asos.
Originally made in Sweden by an avid backpacker, the philosophy behind the design was to create a backpack that would distribute weight evenly so not to cause unnecessary strain on the back – think of how your old Jansport would become pear-shaped with all of your stuff sitting on the bottom. Plus for a backpacker always being outdoors, the materials used to create this backpack needed to be extremely durable. For my little Adam, to whom we refer to lovingly as the ‘Adam-bomb’ because he destroys everything in his wake, we think he needs as much durability as possible in everything he owns.
Here’s what happened when I tried to photograph Adam wearing his new Fjallraven Kanken Mini backpack:
Adam’s Backpack: Thanks to Fjallraven