So, with the end of the summer time comes the inevitable back-to-school shopping. Summer’s easy livin’ shorts, tanks and flip-flops are substituted with school clothes one size up from last year as the kids have grown by a lot under the summer sun. Feet are crammed into new tennis shoes as the children look longingly at their flip flops, dirty and ragged from a summer of adventures.
The School Store Supplies You understand my frustration, don’t you Mamas (and Daddies)? To school Lists which appear to grow each year. Searching high and low for that one item the teacher was very specific about (brand, type, color) and going to many different stores before -eureka!- you locate it! Dragging your young ones along to enable them to buy the items that suit them best, but finding yourself frustrated 1 minute in to the several hour shopping trip because no one wants to get there (including you). Feeling as though you happen to be scrounging out every last penny to ensure that they have everything they want.
This year I discovered myself nearly in tears when i shopped with my three kids. We were in Target (ironically, my happy place) and were looking to get most of the supplies for my three children in just one trip. Each child enjoyed a list that was an entire page long. The school supply aisles were packed with children and parents, many of whom were screaming at said children. I used to be trying my best to ensure that my kids were obtaining the right supplies and that they were able to select colors and such, when they could. I wanted this to become a FUN experience, a bit boost to allow them to get into the swing of school. However, we were all just flustered. After an hour or so as well as a half and tears from 2 of my three children, we determined that we had everything that we needed less the items that we will need to produce a special trip to another store for.
The cart filled until it had been literally heaping and things kept falling of the top and toppling for the floor. I dreaded pushing the cart to checkout. Just studying the level of supplies inside the cart made my checkbook tremble. But, we pushed our heaping cart (very carefully, while occasionally picking up the boxes of crayons that kept sliding to the floor) to the check out and, as expected, I was just a little shell-shocked at the amount. The total amount was about what our kids would buy about 3 weeks of groceries. I handed over my debit card using a grimace and may feel my kids watching my reaction when i did so. This had not been the fun back-to-school outing i had wished for.
We packed up our bags and walked to the vehicle. As I was loading the numerous bags into my trunk, I noticed the household in the car alongside ours. There was clearly a Mom and her son getting into a rusted, older model car. She held onto one, single bag that seemed to be filled with school supplies and he proudly paraded towards the car bearing his new backpack on his little back. I was able to lbtlvz a snippet of the conversation. She was proclaiming that they could buy only a few supplies each week until they had them all and seeking to reassure him which it was okay if they didn’t get them all on the first day – everything works out. They made their way into their car (which took several tries to start) and drove with their small bag of school supplies in tow. We sat, humbled, in our car which had been full to the brim using the supplies of my three kiddos.