Every June, my daughters come home with a list of needed supplies for the next school year. An opportunity is provided to purchase these items through the school, but since I already have many, I opt out of the program. Here is where Target comes to the rescue. In order to avoid the last-minute rush, we usually shop at the end of July. This year, as we were placing the pile of necessities on the checkout belt, I asked my girls if they really needed all of that stuff and did they use it all. Then I stated that when I went to school, (sounding like an old lady), all I needed was a notebook and a pen. The cashier started to laugh.
I remember being excited to go back to school. It was usually after Labor Day, which signified the end of summer, and the beginning of fall. The one staple I always got was a blue canvas notebook, filled with ruled paper divided up by those plastic tab sheets that separated the subjects. I had a ruler and some pens and pencils. That was it. NOW….we need folders and binders of multiple colors, dozens of pencils and pens, index cards, post-it notes, eraser caps, highlighters, glue sticks, sharpies, colored pencils, crayons, and markers. Of course we also need a pencil box to put it all in.
Wait…we aren’t done yet! We still need a backpack and lunch bag. I use to carry my books. Now we need a backpack big enough to hold all these materials as well as a smock, library books, and other items based on grade level. This involves visiting numerous stores until we find the one we like the best. If I brought lunch from home, it was in a paper bag. I don’t remember ever getting sick, even if I brought something with mayo. Today we need an insulated bag with an ice pack, and multiple snacks and drinks to get through the day. We drank water from the water fountain. My elementary school was so old we probably drank lead, and were exposed to asbestos. Water bottles and juice boxes did not exist.
I don’t purchase clothes until fall. Most retailers are trying to get rid of summer stock and the month of September is still warm. I did get a head start on winter jackets only because it was tax-free week, and I got a great deal on the web. The tax savings isn’t anything compared to the discounts that will occur on new clothing in a few months. So, I am not one of the many out and about in the shops this week.
The summer has been fun, but it flew by. As my girls enter another year, it makes me realize that they continue to grow, and the days of them being young are going a little too fast. The bottom line is that they love school, and are excited to be returning soon. They will see their friends, meet another great teacher, and learn new things. When all is said and done, that is worth the cost of supplies.