School Supplies for Everyone

When the school year starts, it has a natural rhythm.  For the children, I always purchase new school and play shoes, new school clothes and school supplies.  The newness makes the process exciting, like an adventure.  For children, each school year brings its own ups and downs with recess worries, homework dread, friendship stress and the business of going to school as practice for a future career.  For me, I get overwhelmed with  making sure I buy the right clothes and supplies without picking up a trend that might be over by Halloween.  I mostly stick with the tried and true classics.  Personally, plaids and corduroy will always signal fall to me.

We managed to get through the trip to the shoe store and Junior insisted on polishing his shoes even before wearing them.  I encourage the children to wear their new footwear around the house for a couple of hours every day before school starts to eliminate the need to treat blisters during the first week of school.  Daisy likes to tap around the kitchen anyway, so it’s fun with a purpose.  I still follow that shopping trip to a treat at Meisel’s for ice cream.  It takes the sting off of it for all of us.  Junior wasn’t happy again with any of the new pants that I purchased and I gave up asking him what he would pick out.  That question has no answer that works for school clothing.  Daisy is always satisfied with a few new jumpers and I found anklets this year with little embroidered flowers on them.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of embroidering her socks myself; they were adorable.  The school supplies gave the children a chance to choose in terms of pencil holders, school bags and lunch pails.  This usually took the longest but I didn’t rush them; these were long-term decisions.

With my new perspective in cooking, I thought I would try and pack better lunches also.  Most lunches are so boring that I could pack them in my sleep.  Junior still had this thing going with peanut butter and jelly but now included strawberry jelly as a second choice after grape.  I am going to try and include more cut up veggies, like carrots and celery, in their boxes. The same ranch dressing that I used on salads all summer makes a great dip for little veggies so I bought some small containers to pack a little to help increase the chances that the vegetables wouldn’t get traded. I can see Daisy enjoying the dip as long as she can talk with her pals while eating.  She is the type to share.

The only surprise occurred when Steve asked the children what they were looking forward to in school this year.  There was a moment of silence as they paused to actually think about their answers.  I had no idea what they would say either.  Sadly, it’s not a question I ever thought about asking before.  As they spoke, my mind moved forward to how to integrate this kind of question more into the dinner conversation.  The children were having experiences away from us every day.  Up to this point, I knew what happened every minute of every day of their life.  Now, most days, a teacher would know more about their days than me.  Something was ending for me and I felt that gulph getting wider each year.  I wonder how I could fill that void; what kind of supplies do I need?

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