It’s that time of year again.
Get out your shopping list and check it twice.
Did you buy enough socks? Underwear? Pants? Are the shoes big enough to be grown into but not so big that they look like clown shoes? Are the clothes appropriately stylish without being…well, inappropriate?
Ah…back-to-school season is here.
I occasionally go to the store during the back-to-school madness so I can watch other moms frantically try to find every last mysterious item on their child’s school list.
In that moment, I am vindicated.
Now that’s a long story…
I homeschool these days, but back when my children were in school, money was tight, and I dreaded the back-to-school madness. (Okay, money’s still tight sometimes these days, too, but I’ve accepted that as part of parenthood.) My kids started the school year with whatever they hadn’t outgrown from the year before. New clothes came at Christmastime. I shopped the after-back-to-school clearance sales.
Even school supplies were fit into the budget throughout the year. Whenever I had spare cash, I would stock up on those things I knew the kids would need. Of course, I waited till August to buy the notebooks, glue, and other items that went on sale for ridiculously amazing prices. Everything else, though, I purchased ahead of time.
Homeschooling creates different back-to-school needs. Old habits die hard, though. I still shop ahead. In fact, I shop so far ahead that I don’t think I’ll need more school supplies until college…
Nonetheless, I was at the store this morning buying a few odds and ends, and I witnessed the back-to-school chaos in full swing.
Parents, clutching their child’s school list, circled the same aisle four and five times looking for that one illusive item (probably the specific brand of pink eraser they were instructed to buy).
Children, panic-ridden, tried to convince their parents that they needed a more attractive backpack than the plain black $10 special that was on sale.
Boys slipped woven nylon binders into the shopping cart when dads weren’t looking.
Girls, heartbroken that the sparkly pink binder only came in the two-inch size when the list said they needed one-inch, sulked and said, “Whatever,” when asked if the other binder was okay.
In that moment, my shop-ahead tendency looked less like neurosis and more like brilliance. I was vindicated in glorious fashion.
And since I don’t have to go crazy trying to find the right brand of glue stick, you know what I get to do with my time?
Read a good book.
Enter to win a $5 Amazon gift card. You can use it for books or pink erasers. I won’t tell.
To enter, comment below and share a funny, entertaining, or poignant back-to-school memory from your life or the life of someone you love.
Valerie Comer says
Ah, Heather. I don’t miss the chaos of having kids in school, but my daughter is just starting all this with my oldest granddaughter. Who let her be five and a half already? Seriously?
Heather Gray says
Just yesterday I told my son “I can’t believe so-and-so is going to be a senior in high school this year!” My son, who is fifteen, looked at me like I’d grown a second head. He obviously doesn’t appreciate the passage of time the same way I do! ;)
Autumn Macarthur says
LOL, loved this post, Heather! I am sooooooo glad not to have to worry about back-to-school madness!
Heather Gray says
Thanks for stopping by, Autumn! You and I, we’ll put our feet up and drink lemonade on the porch while everyone else runs around getting school supplies. Sound like a plan? You know, if I can tear myself away from my book… ;)
Deb Kastner says
I get a little crazy when I see school supplies, even though my kids are all grown. The notebooks, pens, colored sticky notes…those are for ME!!!
Heather Gray says
Hahaha! I do admit to being particularly partial to paper products… Maybe it’s the writer in me. There’s nothing wrong with having something pretty to write on. Or with. :)