By Susana Fletcher
Crisp, white notebook paper makes me smile. Oh, the rainbow of possibilities in a 64-count box of Crayola crayons. How I dream of pink Pearl erasers with perfect, unadulterated corners and the familiar rubbery smell. And don’t even get me started on the feel of a freshly sharpened #2 pencil. I heart school supplies. School supply shopping? in August? for three kids? Not so much.
There are no less than 27 line items per list per child, all speaking to your ability as a parent to find them in the sea of Wal-Mart, Staples, Target, Office Whatever and your local grocery store. Red checking pencils? Nobody in anystoreanywhere has even heard of red checking pencils. And since when did Kleenex and Ziplock become household names on this list?
I get it. I really do. As a former teacher, I understand the need to have 22 boxes of Kleenex for the year, especially during allergy season. (When is it NOT allergy season, again?) It’s not even the list that bothers me so much as it is the kids, the crowds and the crazy that surrounds the pre-school-year pandemonium. “Mom, I neeeeeeed this 1D folder. Pleeeeeeease?”Well, that boy-band bejeweled folder is $2.79 more than the one that’s on sale for the season. If you’re wondering how they are able to sell a perfectly functional folder to all the reasonable parents for ten cents a pop, it’s because I’m the sucker buying a three-dollar One Direction folder for a six year old. Sigh.
When we moved from south to north Austin, and I learned that my kids’school had a prepackaged school supply program, I was beside myself. How did I not know such a thing existed in the universe? Pay $40 to NOT go supply shopping? Up to half my kingdom for such a luxury! The children would show up to school on the first day, a cellophane wrapped treasure greeting them at their desk with everything they needed to excel for another year. There is a God in heaven.
Well, as it turns out, the magic school supply fairy has a deadline. Which I missed. After crying a few crocodile tears into my Grande Americano, I’m off to brave the wild wilderness for another year.