Our Best Stuff From the Last Week of Summer*

As a parent, I’ve always been a little frazzled by the back-to-school routine. When I was growing up, my mom would take me to the nice mall in the next town and we’d have a long day of trying on clothes, going to lunch, and me trying my best to ask nicely when I wanted just a few more things from The Limited or that really cute pair of boots, even though I didn’t need them.

With three boys, it’s more like that game show Supermarket Sweep, but conducted at the Nike store. We’re in and out with new wardrobes in an hour. It’s easier, maybe, but hectic. (And invariably two of them will buy some of the same shirts and shorts but in different sizes, but I’ll save my laundry woes for another installment.) And then I never get to Target for supplies in time, so I stand there cursing that they are out of green folders or blue composition notebooks. And how many %$&@ glue sticks do they need, anyhow?

I’ll never complain about being frazzled again. (Well, at least not for back-to-school prep.)

On Monday, a blissful silence fell over our house a little after 8 a.m., after  I walked with our youngest to the bus stop for his first day of sixth grade. Had the circumstances been different, I’d have been a little wistful. It’s his last year at elementary school. Our school really treats the sixth graders well—they have a special play they put on, they take some cool field trips, and the graduation ceremony is simple but really great. I’d have been looking forward to all that awaited him while being a little melancholy that, after 12 years, our family’s time at the school was almost over. No more little kids in our house. 

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