Saturday, July 17, 2010

Once a mom, always a mom... I just can't help it!

It's that time of year when mothers everywhere, or at least in North America, start dragging themselves out of the summertime lethargy that hit back in March and begin thinking of back-to-school shopping. Now days schools post classroom supply lists on their websites. When I was a kid we just bought the standard lined notebook paper or Big Chief tablet, pencils, erasers, scissors, paste, maybe a new ruler and one of those little zip bags to put the pencils and erasers in. In High School we bought Trapper Keepers to keep all our stuff organized. That typically lasted about one week.
"Overheard today:'The iPad is just a Trapper Keeper for adults!' "
These days I don't have to fight the other mothers at Walmart for school supplies. But I've been busy the last few days shopping for "back-to-school". Yesterday Tessa and I accomplished a feat thought impossible - we bought all the necessary clothing, shoes and accessories for sorority recruitment week in one afternoon. Since Tessa is now a senior, it was the last such shopping trip and we are quite proud to go out with a record-breaking day. (Note to self: Remember to sign up to help in the sorority house kitchen during rush!)

And then there's the elder daughter...With a teacher for a daughter, back-to-school shopping springs eternal. I'm pretty sure Angela still has enough tissues, glue and anti-bacterial wipes to supply the entire 5th grade. I did pull the mom card when H1N1 was a daily presence in the news last fall and lecture her on how the anti-bacterial wipes and hand-gel were doing no one any good shut into her classroom cabinet. So maybe take the wipes off the list.

Is it weird that I enjoy helping her set up and decorate her classroom? Maybe it's that latent teacher in me from my days of playing school in Susan's basement. These days I love going into the teacher's work room and playing with the little machine that cuts letters and shapes. Angela's not a big bulletin board fan so I'm all "pick me, pick me" when it comes time to set those up. (Those over-eager kids were always so annoying!)

This year we are dreaming up fun artwork to go on the virgin walls of her brand new classroom in the shiny new school where she will be teaching. Left to my own devices I'd furnish a whole little reading corner, complete with a kid-sized sofa and beanbags galore. But since that's not in the budget, I contented myself with shopping Goodwill for used books with cool artwork for the mixed-media creation we're planning.

Now I'm feeling nostalgic and thinking I might have to dig out some "first day of school" photos. Or go smell some freshly-sharpened pencils. Or maybe go open a fresh box of crayons.

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