Local schools start today, and the stores have been busy with shoppers filling their carts with pencils, lined paper, crayons and tissues. Back to school shopping was always a favorite task for me because I absolutely love an aisle full of brand-new notebooks, binders, pens and markers. I still enjoy picking out an occasional pretty notebook for myself for notes I still make by hand during the process of a book, but it’s not quite the same thrill as filling a new backpack with new school supplies for my children.
Our son, who started his second year of medical school last week, had dinner with us last night. As I packed zippered plastic bags with the peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies I’d made for him (I sometimes wonder if he makes regular visits just to refill the cookie jar in his apartment), it occurred to me that this is the first August in some fourteen years that my husband and I haven’t loaded hubby’s trusty pickup truck with plastic bins and furniture and moved one of our three kids into a dorm or apartment. The girls have been settled into their current residences for four and three years, respectively, and last year our son moved into the apartment where he plans to reside through the next three years of med school, so this year there’s no one to move. As I’ve read Facebook posts from friends who’ve spent recent days hauling boxes and hanging posters on dorm walls, I thought of how much fun those moves were — though some of them took place in the rain, others on stiflingly hot August days — and I’m glad I had those experiences. Even the experience of moving daughter number one into an un-air-conditioned seventh floor dorm room on a hundred-degree day when the elevator was unavailable. Now that was an interesting day – but we tackled it together, so I still treasure the memory. But maybe I’m a little relieved that I got to take it a little easier this hot summer.
Here’s hoping for a happy, safe and productive new school year for all.
And a note to my girls on their separate coasts … whenever you finish your current career training and are ready to move back closer to home, the truck is ready and waiting!
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