School Days

Our oldest grandson starts 2nd Grade in the morning.  I’ve noticed that even with all our girls grown and gone, my body and psyche still operates on the school schedule.  The new year begins in September for me and I’ve never been a teacher, or more than an attending parent at school functions.   I was never a room mother since I either had too many still at home or I was working full time.  Even so, I was a mother of school age daughters from 1986 through 2007 and the energy of the family always shifted into the new year in September.

In 2008, I returned to college and our grandson began kindergarten.

Today I stepped back in time with a list of school supplies to purchase, and that First-Day-of-School-Outfit to buy.  It’s been a turbulent summer for our family and this week we are childcare providers for our grandsons while their nanny visits her family in Idaho.  This will probably be her last visit until the mountain passes clear in the spring.  When she returns I won’t even be a primary-call on the school emergency list anymore, I’ll be #3.

While it was nostalgic to shop for school supplies, I do not miss the chore.  Today I was a bit stunned at the expected quantity.  Parents-that-can are expected to supply for the parents-who-can-not buy supplies for their children.  On the list was:  3 boxes of 24 crayons, 36 pencils, 6 erasers, 12 glue sticks, thin markers, thick markers, dry-erase markers, and more.   Almost $50 in school supplies for one 2nd grade boy.  I’m happy to contribute and am now more aware of the strain placed on our schools, and parents like my daughter.  She has a good job, is a single mom, and is paid slightly more than I earned in 1997.  This boggles my psyche.

The fun shopping today was the First-Day-of-School outfit.

Years ago (with four daughters) I learned not to school-shop before school started.  Choices made in the summer were disaster fashions in the fall.  So our tradition was the First-Day-of-School outfit and a few new tops.  After they saw what everyone else was wearing, we’d shop for comparable styles though seldom the brand of choice.

Today’s First-Day-of-School outfit was nothing like I would have bought for my girls.  My 7-year-old grandson chose gray skinny jeans, a black and white patterned backpack, and two shirts with guitar motifs (I talked him out of the silk-screened skulls).   The shirt he plans to wear in the morning has a colorful tie-died swirl, and where the black and silver  guitars are not, there are black horizontal stripes and even an angel wing.  It’s not as wild as it sounds and he’s really excited to wear this shirt Grandma found for him.  Go figure.  The girls never liked what I suggested.

And while he’s at school, we’ll be having a new window installed in our living room.  I think it’s appropriate to have a new view.

About Terri Patrick
Writer of Romance and Memoir. Life is an adventure, take that journey.

2 Responses to School Days

  1. Nostalgia. I remember those days. I know what you mean about that school schedule. It’s a touch habit to kick!


  2. rose lefebvre says:

    Being a grandmother is a different view on life then when you had children. I envy your experience, which I do not think I will get to enjoy except vicariously through my best friends grandson (I am his Nana Rose).


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