Something I've been wondering lately is whether back-to-school shopping is kind of a scam. A friend was in the mall last rainy Friday and said it was insane -- crazier than a December weekend. I am pretty new to this school gig (my daughters are starting grade 1 and kindergarten this year), but I found myself planning for school and looking at their clothes and thinking... don't they have enough clothes?
The weather doesn't change overnight, even in my crazy climate. So, I know one bias is mine is that my one daughter will for sure wear shorts as long as is childly possible (and parent-indulged), so who knows what size pants she will wear by November? And my other one has worn long sleeves and pants throughout the summer herself.
Supplies are obvious enough to me. I mean, the schools that sort that out for you in June are *genius*, but if that's not your lucky lot, of course you need supplies. Markers dry out and scissors dull and notebooks fill up and pencils go astray.
I bought a pair of runners for my eldest and a backpack for #2. My Mother-in-Law bought them each a new outfit, and it is sweet for them to have something new to wear. But, I guess I just don't get the massive run-around and stress that seems to accompany this "first day" deadline. It seems so encompassing and, from many of my conversations with other moms, tiring!
Is it the streamlining that makes it worth it? Is it easier? Are you replacing shoes that are scrunching toes and bags that limped through the June finish line?
Is it more that kids are blah to go back to school and new things are incentive to be excited?
Somehow, the pomp & circumstance & rigamaroll of it all has piqued my interest and my wary wallet. Or maybe I am just being very naive or cynical? Tell me!
Now is a great time to spend 5-10 minutes unsubscribing to email lists you belong to.
Promotional emails are distracting, and form a lot of noise in these next couple of months (yes, I know — my weekly Keep Up email contributes, too!).
Do a scan of the regular emails you receive & ask: can I stop receiving this? Will I miss anything that I will actually suffer for not receiving? Is the content providing value to me, or is it just noise?
As this summer neared its end, Wayne & I began talking about a radical idea: quitting our Netflix subscription. I was feeling anxious about the transition from summer's never-ending days to the routine & rhythm of fall. Our kids would be in school all day (the girls, at least; our son is just half-days), and then have activities, chores, & piano practice, not to mention squeezing in their accustomed 8 hours of daily free play into what was left!
The truth is that I didn't want their extra time to be spent prioritizing shows, I wanted them to spend it with me. I think this is the kind of sappy feeling parents begin to get when they've left the all-consuming pre-school years and they glimpse how quickly time will pass before the kids are grown up.
We've listened to the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman countless times in my house (or, as my music app tells me: around 30), and the chorus of this song — "Never Enough" — keeps ringing through my head.
The song itself is about love (ie. without you, all the amazing things in the world will never be enough), but as we head into the busiest shopping season of the year, I feel like "Never Enough" is the battle cry of retail marketing.
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