It is the time of year that parents everywhere hear the words that bring joy to their hearts: Back To School!
The days of lax schedules and sleeping in are drawing to a close. The dog days of summer are giving way to class schedules and school projects. Soon I will again hear the dulcet tones of the school bus stopping at the bottom of the driveway. I never imagined that would be music to my ears.
If someone had told me 20 years ago how excited I would be to see bins full of pencils and spiral notebooks lining the aisles at Walmart, I would have thought they had sniffed one too many Sharpies. It's the same feeling I used to get when I saw the words "shoe sale." These days I would drive past 10 shoe sales just to make sure I get hold of those fifteen cent folders at Target.
Funny how your priorities change as parents. When childless, I would plot and plan how to save enough money for my dream car. Now I spend the latter part of my summer scouring sale flyers for the best deals on binders.
I used to think I was become boring, but I now realize that as parents, we become realistic. Car seats simply don't fit in the back of a Mustang convertible. That Prada bag simply would not function the same stuffed with diapers and wipes. And who needs to spend money on a Versace blouse when they must send their children off to school with Crayola supplies rather than--God forbid--some generic brand of crayons which will cause them to be made fun of and scar them for life, resulting in thousands of dollars spent on therapy.
So as I run amok between retail outlets in search of the gel ink pens and mechanical pencils my daughter cannot live without, I remind myself that the house will soon be quiet and structure will return to my days. I will--in some small way--miss the sounds of video games rising from the basement and the lovely tones of my daughter's cell phone as she receives her 30th text message of the morning.
In the meantime, I need to hurry up and get to Kmart. Rumor has it there is a huge sale on highlighters.