shorts

The writer’s 9-year-old son, Zach Introne, in his winter gear. (Submitted photo)

A couple of weeks ago, the "Today Show" ran an article on how even in extreme cold, boys are choosing to wear shorts.

Moms weighed in on the battles of trying to get them to bundle up, or just cover exposed skin, and medical experts added their two cents on the risks of cold exposure and hypothermia.

The article was shared to my Facebook page and I was tagged at least half a dozen times in a single day.

Call me the poster mom in my circle for a boy wearing shorts in single-digit temperatures.

Apparently there was a neighborhood pool started in November for how long my 9-year old son would hold out with the shorts.

Granted, we had relatively mild temperatures in November and December, but he was still the sole child at the bus stop with bare legs that entire time.

The pool ended this month as he finally started donning sweat pants after a week of 20-degree temps. But even today, when it was 16 degrees with a windchill of 1, the new winter parka I purchased is hanging on the hook while he opted instead for just a sweatshirt and light jacket.

His shorts obsession isn't a fashion statement. Or a rebellious stand. It is purely comfort. He is simply more comfortable in shorts. He is also very active. So I believe he falls into that category of kids that just naturally run hotter because he's always on the move.

I used to try and enforce the rule that temps below freezing (32 degrees) required long pants. But I have since waived that. Truth be told, if the kid is cold, he'll put on more clothes himself. I've seen him do it. In fact, I've relaxed all the clothing rules in my house for my kids.

The outfits my oldest daughter puts together are, let's say, creative. Mixing patterns and layering skirts and pants are fashion do's, not don'ts, in her world.

Pretty much the only rule I still stick to is that it must be clean. No picking stuff out of the bottom of the basket to put back on. (Unless it's a sports jersey for a game, because every mom knows we've all been there and realized we've not done that load 15 minutes before it's time to head out!) And if their favorite isn't clean, well now's the perfect time for me to teach you how to run the washer and dryer.

There are no extenuating circumstances in our household. No underlying medical conditions or specific situations that might rightfully warrant a different set of rules. In fact, I love the wide spectrum of clothing situations within my circle. From the mom that always irons her kids clothes before school, to the mom who let her son wear the same lucky Sharks jersey every single day for an entire year! Viva la difference!

Kids have so much of their lives decided for them that giving them some freedom to express themselves with their clothing choices is the least we can do around here.

Mine may look like they're auditioning for Barnum & Bailey, or about to suffer frostbite as they wait for the bus, but I let them do it. I have yet to meet a kid that won't openly complain if they're not happy. So if he ends up cold, I'll hear about it. And then I'll just point him towards his dresser and the drawer full of pants waiting there for him.