So, with the end of the summer 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 this past year because the kids have grown by a lot under the summer sun. Feet are crammed into new tennis shoes since the children look longingly at their flip flops, dirty and ragged from a summer of adventures.
The School Supplies In Bulk You know my frustration, don’t you Mamas (and Daddies)? Returning to school Lists which manage to grow each and every year. Searching high and low for that one item that the teacher was very specific about (brand, type, color) and planning to a number of different stores before -eureka!- you find it! Dragging your kids along to enable them to purchase the items which suit them best, but finding yourself frustrated 1 minute in to the several hour shopping trip because nobody wants to become there (including you). Feeling as if you are scrounging out every last penny to make sure that they have got everything they need.
This year I came across myself nearly in tears because i shopped with my three kids. We had been in Target (ironically, my happy place) and were trying to get most of the supplies for my three children in a single trip. Each child enjoyed a list which had been an entire page long. The college supply aisles were packed with children and parents, a number of whom were screaming at said children. I used to be trying my best to ensure my kids were having the right supplies and that they had the ability to pick out colors etc, when they could. I needed this to be a FUN experience, a little boost for them to get into the swing of school. However, we were all just flustered. After an hour along with a half and tears from a couple of my three children, we determined we had everything that we needed less the items that we would need to produce a special journey to another store for.
The cart filled until it was literally heaping and things kept falling from the top and toppling towards the floor. I dreaded pushing the cart to checkout. Just studying the quantity 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 used to be a bit shell-shocked on the amount. The exact amount was about what our kids would pay for about 3 weeks of groceries. I handed over my debit card having a grimace and may feel my kids watching my reaction because i did so. This had not been the enjoyment back-to-school outing i had hoped for.
We packed up our bags and walked out to the car. When I was loading the many bags into my trunk, I noticed the family in the car close to ours. There is a Mom and her son entering into a rusted, older model car. She held onto one, single bag that appeared to be full of school supplies and that he proudly paraded for the car bearing his new backpack on his little back. I could lbtlvz a snippet with their conversation. She was saying that they might buy just a couple supplies each week until they had all of them and seeking to reassure him that it was okay when they didn’t have them all on the first day – everything is acceptable out. They made their distance to their car (which took several tries to start) and drove with their small bag of school supplies in tow. We sat, humbled, within our car which was full for the brim using the supplies of my three kiddos.