Do You Live on the East or West Side?

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A couple of weeks ago I had a work event at Kidville, which ended up turning into a total family fun day with my hubby and son able to tag along. Branden took advantage of the open play gym time, while my husband got to meet the CEO of my company and have a glimpse of what it is I actually do when I am out of the house Monday through Friday. As the event came to an end, we noticed that Branden had made friends with a little girl, and the pair appeared inseparable as both sets of parents tried to make an exit. As we were finally rounding up the respective troops and getting jackets on to head outdoors, the little girl came back over to Branden and nonchalantly said “Excuse me, do you live on the East Side or the West Side of the park?”

I have to admit that I was a little taken back by that question because I had always found myself laughing and making fun of people who actually talked like this. Branden didn’t really know how to respond because we simply don’t define ourselves by which side of Central Park we live in. As soon as the little girl said it, all the adults standing around the kiddos simply laughed off the comment. The little girl’s parents weren’t present when she said it, but the Kidville store buyer did hear her question, which clearly didn’t just come out of the woodwork. The buyer informed me that this was typical banter among the children and their nannies (parents only present on the weekends) that shop the Kidville retail store. In fact, kids were known to pick out clothes and say things such as “Mom, this dress would be perfect for the Hamptons!” Until then, I thought that this only actually happened in movies.

It amazes me how this simple question coming from this innocent child could make me think so deeply about the way that we define ourselves, and in turn, the way that our children begin to define themselves at a very young age. And about how much our own attitudes are absorbed into the virtual sponges that we call our children. As much as I love being able to say that I live in New York City, I refuse to ever define myself by which area within the city that I live in, unwilling to be a living NYC cliche. Yes, I have my favorite neighborhoods in the city, but it’s very important to me that I remain an individual. And even more importantly, that I am able to instill in Branden a sense of his self-worth that also is reflected in his attitudes towards others.

So with this, I leave you with these questions: How do you define yourself? And others?

Fashionably Yours,

Allison

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