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 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 School Supplies Online You know my frustration, don’t you Mamas (and Daddies)? Back to school Lists which appear to grow each year. Searching high and low for that one item that this teacher was very specific about (brand, type, color) and going to many different stores before -eureka!- you find it! Dragging your kids along to enable them to buy the items that suit them best, but finding yourself frustrated one minute into the several hour shopping trip because no one wants to be there (including you). Feeling as if you are scrounging out every last penny to make certain that they have got everything they require.
This season I found 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 one trip. Each child enjoyed a list which was a full page long. The institution supply aisles were packed with children and parents, a number of whom were screaming at said children. I was trying my best to ensure the kids were obtaining the right supplies and they were able to pick out colors etc, when they could. I wanted 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 2 of my three children, we determined we had exactly what we needed minus the things 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 to the floor. I dreaded pushing the cart to checkout. Just exploring the quantity of supplies within 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 a bit shell-shocked on the amount. The total amount was approximately what my family would buy about 3 weeks of groceries. I handed over my debit card using a grimace and can feel my kids watching my reaction as I did so. This had not been the fun back-to-school outing i had expected.
We packed up our bags and walked out to the vehicle. When I was loading the many bags into my trunk, I noticed the household in a car next to ours. There was a Mom and her son engaging in a rusted, older model car. She held onto one, single bag that seemed to be filled with school supplies and he proudly paraded to the car bearing his new backpack on his little back. I was able to lbtlvz a snippet of the conversation. She was stating that they could buy only a few supplies a week until that they had them all and attempting to reassure him which it was okay should they didn’t get them all on the first day – everything is acceptable out. They made their way into their car (which took several attempts to start) and drove off with their small bag of school supplies in tow. We sat, humbled, inside our car which was full towards the brim using the supplies of my three kiddos.