31 Aug
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Joys of Back to School Shopping

Every August I look forward to back-to-school shopping for clothes and shoes for our kids, and every August I’m reminded how taxing the actual shopping excursion is in reality. We try to make a weekend trip away from home to a larger city to make the sometimes tedious shopping more enjoyable. At least in a larger city there are more food options to help in coaxing good behavior.

This year with high school football a new part of our schedule, we found ourselves with less time to finagle a trip out of town in August. We squeaked out a fast and furious trip to get a few items we couldn’t find in our town.

kids eating at Baskin Robbins

Our daughter will shop and shop and shop. She only becomes surly when we shut down the coffers for her spending spree. One son will only purchase clothes that are shades of neon, black and elastic-waisted. If it’s not athletic and moisture-wicking, he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. Then there’s the son who only tests for the softness of the clothing. Clothing is randomly tossed in my direction in stores with vague promises to wear said articles. Color is never a concern as long as the softness level is extremely high. Another son actually cares about clothes and has some idea of what image he wants to portray. This involves button-down tops and lots of me holding up dozens of shirts to only have one or two chosen for the fitting room. There’s also a lot of grey and black in that ones closest.

All four children have one thing in common: they do not believe their size ever changes. They’re forever attempting to squeeze into sizes they’ve out-grown long ago. It takes much grumbling and arguing for me to convince them of the size they actually wear. The younger children grab random boxes of shoes to try-on, only to have me beg and plead with them to wait for an adult to help read the boxes and choose the correct size. I’ve restocked more shoe boxes than I care to count. Our youngest son likes to find the largest size of shoes he can find at stores. If it entertaining, yes. It is helpful, no. The size 20 tennis shoes he discovered this trip are his largest find yet. Thankfully they were found at the beginning of our shopping while I was still enjoying the process. On day two, I lost two hours of my life at Old Navy. It was much easier when everyone was less opinionated and didn’t need to try clothes on.

back to school shoe shopping

Our first day of school is next week. It seems, from my social media feed, that everyone else in the country is back to school. We’ve learned this August that a high school student participating in fall activities ends their summer much early than everyone else. I’ve been shuttling to football and marching band practices for weeks already. We’ve been sneaking in fun activities around the shuttle schedule for the rest of the household. While it’s annoying to be on a schedule earlier than I’m used to, I’m grateful our son has met plenty of fellow students over the last few weeks. He’s not nervous because the school and the people there already feel like home. I’m a believer in all the studies that point to the importance of kids being active. There’s more happening at school than athletics.

Having a child in high school seems inconceivable. I’m more nervous for high school than him. I’m afraid it will all be over as soon as it begins. I want to soak it all in, even more desperately with the younger three because now I know all the talk of how fast these years go is true. All the parenting cliches are spot on. As nervous as I am, walking the halls of his new school finding all his classes made me excited for him. He’s more than ready for this next phase. Teens can be ridiculously annoying with their hormones, poor listening and questionable decision-making, but they’re also funny, insightful and intelligent.

I have piles of paperwork to sort through before the first day and have yet to sort the driving schedule. We have kids at three different schools for the next few years, two of which start and finish at almost the same times. At least there is never a dull moment with this crew. Enjoy the new routine fellow parents and all the crazy good that comes with the start of a new school year.

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