It’s that time of year again! The kids are preparing to go back to school! I always loved having my kids home for the summer but even I will confess to being unreasonably happy when, just when I wanted to kill them and bury them in the back yard, school started again. They were truly saved by the bell. Get it? See what I did there? Don’t judge.
Anyway, it always reminded me of when I would go back to school. We didn’t have much money so clothing shopping might have included one outfit and a new pair of shoes…maybe; but what I always got was a new book back (long before the days of backpacks) and school supplies. Oh how I loved the possibilities that were indicative of a clean, untouched notebook, some sharpened #2 pencils and crayons that still had a point. I would pack everything neatly and then check and recheck the list to be sure I was ready.
Even shopping for my own kids thrilled me – maybe a little too much but again…don’t judge. For the ones in public school, which were the boys, I would drag them shopping for clothes and shoes and then we would go for school supplies. See, they loved the supply shopping as much as I did so I had to bribe them with it to get them shopping for clothes. A mama’s got to do what a mama’s got to do. They would go up and down the aisles at Staples and Target looking at their lists and picking out their things. Pens, pencils (mechanical now), erasures, notebooks, folders and…of course…backpacks. A new backpack was the most important thing on the list. It was what everyone would see first. It didn’t necessarily have to be expensive but it HAD to be right. I was always very patient but I was really glad when they were old enough that we could order online.
By now I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. Not all kids get to have this experience. Some families can afford or don’t care (unfortunately this is true in some cases) to equip their kids properly for school. It was hard enough for me to be “less fortunate” than some of my classmates but it would have been almost unbearable to have to start school and borrow things like paper and pencils from the teacher. It would have infinitely more painful for me, due to life’s circumstances, to have to send my children to school unprepared. I can’t imagine that pain.
Every year my friend, Paige Davis from “Trading Spaces” and the Broadway productions of “Chicago” and “Beauty and the Beast” to name a few, lends her celebrity to Operation Backpack, an organization that strives to ensure that no child starts school without the proper supplies. If you are so inclined, you can read more about the organization here and donate to Paige’s campaign here and she’s written a lovely post on her own blog which you can read here.
To quote Martha Stewart, “It’s a good thing.”