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 last year since the kids have grown by a lot under the summer sun. Feet are crammed into new tennis shoes because the children look longingly at their flip flops, dirty and ragged from a summer of adventures.
The Bulk Office Supplies You understand my frustration, don’t you Mamas (and Daddies)? Back to school Lists which seem to grow every year. Searching high and low for the one item that this 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 purchase the things that suit them best, but finding yourself frustrated one minute to the several hour shopping trip because no one wants to become there (including you). Feeling as if you might be scrounging out every last penny to ensure that they have got everything they need.
This coming year I came across myself nearly in tears as I shopped with my three kids. We were in Target (ironically, my happy place) and were trying to get the majority of the supplies for my three children in just one trip. Each child experienced a list which had been an entire page long. The institution supply aisles were packed with children and parents, several of whom were screaming at said children. I used to be trying my best to make sure that my children were obtaining the right supplies and they were able to select colors etc, whenever they could. I wanted this as a FUN experience, a little boost to allow them to get back into the swing of school. However, we had been all just flustered. After an hour and a half and tears from 2 of my three children, we determined that we had anything that we needed less the items that we would need to make a special journey to another store for.
The cart filled until it had been literally heaping and things kept falling in the top and toppling for the floor. I dreaded pushing the cart to checkout. Just looking at the quantity of supplies in 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 towards the floor) to the have a look at and, as expected, I had been a little shell-shocked on the amount. The total amount was about what our kids would purchase about 3 weeks of groceries. I handed over my debit card with a grimace and could feel my kids watching my reaction as I did so. This had not been the fun back-to-school outing i had hoped for.
We packed up our bags and walked out to the automobile. When I was loading the many bags into my trunk, I noticed the family in a car alongside ours. There is 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 for the car bearing his new backpack on his little back. I was able to lbtlvz a snippet with their conversation. She was saying that they might buy just a few supplies each week until they had all of them and seeking to reassure him that it was okay should they didn’t ask them to all on the first day – everything would work 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, inside our car that was full for the brim using the supplies of my three kiddos.