So, with the end of the summer time comes the unavoidable 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 Bulk Office Supplies You already know my frustration, don’t you Mamas (and Daddies)? Back to school Lists which seem to grow each year. Searching everywhere for that one item that this teacher was very specific about (brand, type, color) and likely to several different stores before -eureka!- you locate it! Dragging your young ones along in order to buy the items which suit them best, but finding yourself frustrated 1 minute to the several hour shopping trip because no one wants to become there (including you). Feeling like you are scrounging out every last penny to make certain that they may have everything they want.
This coming year I discovered myself nearly in tears when i shopped with my three kids. We had been 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 enjoyed a list that was a full page long. The college supply aisles were filled with children and parents, many of whom were screaming at said children. I used to be trying my best to ensure that my children were getting the right supplies and they were able to select colors and such, once they could. I wanted this to be a FUN experience, just a little boost for them to get into the swing of school. However, we had been all just flustered. After an hour along with a half and tears from 2 of my three children, we determined that we had everything that we needed less the things that we would need to create a special journey to another store for.
The cart filled until it was literally heaping and things kept falling from the top and toppling for the floor. I dreaded pushing the cart to checkout. Just looking at the amount 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 to the floor) to the check out and, as expected, I had been a little shell-shocked at the amount. The amount was approximately what my family would buy about 3 weeks of groceries. I handed over my debit card using a grimace and could feel my children watching my reaction because i did so. This had not been the enjoyment back-to-school outing that I had wished for.
We packed up our bags and walked to the vehicle. Because I was loading the various bags into my trunk, I noticed the family unit in a car alongside ours. There was clearly a Mom and her son getting into a rusted, older model car. She held onto one, single bag that appeared to be filled with school supplies and he proudly paraded to the car bearing his new backpack on his little back. I really could lbtlvz a snippet of the conversation. She was saying that they could buy only a few supplies each week until they had every one of them and seeking to reassure him that it was okay when they didn’t get them all on the first day – everything works 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, in our car which was full towards the brim using the supplies of my three kiddos.