So, with the end of the summer comes the inevitable back-to-school shopping. Summer’s easy livin’ shorts, tanks and flip-flops are replaced with school clothes one size-up from last year since the kids have grown by leaps and bounds 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 Office Supplies Cheap You understand my frustration, don’t you Mamas (and Daddies)? Returning to school Lists which appear to grow every year. Searching everywhere 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 kids along in order to get 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 like you might be scrounging out every last penny to make sure that they have everything they need.
This season I discovered myself nearly in tears when i shopped with my three kids. We had been in Target (ironically, my happy place) and were hoping to get most of the supplies for my three children in a single trip. Each child experienced a list that was an entire page long. The school supply aisles were full of children and parents, many of whom were screaming at said children. I used to be trying my best to make sure that my kids were obtaining the right supplies and that they could actually choose colors etc, once they could. I needed this as a FUN experience, just a little boost to allow them to get into the swing of school. However, we were all just flustered. After an hour or so and a half and tears from a couple of my three children, we determined that we had anything that we needed less the items that we would have to produce a special visit to another store for.
The cart filled until it was literally heaping and things kept falling in the top and toppling to the floor. I dreaded pushing the cart to checkout. Just looking at the level of supplies inside the cart made my checkbook tremble. But, we pushed our heaping cart (ever so carefully, while occasionally picking up the boxes of crayons that kept sliding for the floor) towards the take a look at and, as expected, I had been just a little shell-shocked in the amount. The exact amount was approximately what my family would purchase about 3 weeks of groceries. I handed over my debit card with a grimace and could feel the kids watching my reaction because i did so. This had not been the fun back-to-school outing which i had hoped for.
We packed up our bags and walked in the market to the automobile. As I was loading the numerous bags into my trunk, I noticed the household in a car alongside 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 full of school supplies and he proudly paraded to the car bearing his new backpack on his little back. I could lbtlvz a snippet of their conversation. She was stating that they could buy just a couple supplies each week until they had them all and attempting to reassure him it was okay should they didn’t ask them to all on the first day – everything works out. They made their distance to their car (which took several attempts to start) and drove with their small bag of school supplies in tow. We sat, humbled, within our car which had been full towards the brim with the supplies of my three kiddos.