I think back to school shopping should be an Olympic sport.
Because nothing, and I mean nothing, tests my endurance more than looking for an 8-1/2 x 11, three-pronged, plastic portfolio pocket folder WITHOUT holes. Not to be confused, mind you, with the Mead Five Star Laminated Paper Folder, which we all know comes with three hole punches, four internal pockets and absolutely no prongs!
After years and years of shopping for this elusive product and many others like it, I've come to realize that the "back to school supply list" is a test of wits, patience and perseverance in order for teachers to weed out the children that are truly loved by their parents and those that are not. Either that, or it's a sadistic inside joke that all teachers are part of.
But jokes on them because on Monday my children and their folders, with or without holes, and their backpacks filled to capacity with notebook paper, multiple boxes of Number 2 pencils and enough Elmer Glue sticks to cause massive amounts of destruction will all be promptly delivered to the school house doors... way before 8 a.m.
Let the new school year begin!
And by that I mean college applications, ACTs, soccer, tutors, football, "prom-posals," reading assignments, strep throat, flu shots, retreats and the dreaded weekend science projects.
I, for one, could not be happier to get back to the school year routine.
On Saturday evening as I sat through our first middle school football scrimmage of the season, swatting mosquitoes, talking shop with the other mamas (aka- what color did you decide to paint your den this summer, Jennifer?), I could smell the pre-teen sweat waft through the air. A familiar smell, that means routine and normalcy will soon follow. A smell that also instantly reminds me to pick up more Febreze Sport next time I'm at Kroger.
Like everyone else this week, we intend to start the year with the best of intentions. School clothes are washed and ironed and ready for the week, the makings of a healthy lunch is waiting in the fridge, my alarm is set so I that can be up early to cook eggs and toast for the kids on their first morning back.
And then by next Monday, the real routine kicks in - two sips of milk, an untoasted Pop Tart and a Flintstone vitamin and we are out the door! A text message will appear on my phone promptly at 8:45 a.m. that someone has forgotten something that they must have immediately or the world will surely end. Another text will arrive by lunch to remind me I once again forgot to add lunch money to their account, and they are now mortified because the lunch lady said something to them about their account. And a quick call between their dad and I after school, coordinating who has the lawn chairs, water bottles and what game we have where and who has which child when is made. Followed by a series of texts and calls about - what's for dinner?
And so it begins... again.
With one in college now and my other two quickly catching up to her, I'll happily be there!