They are BACK. Already. School supplies are back in stores. On the heels of the 4th of July, while I am still in hamburger inhaling, watermelon slurping, and swimming pool mode, I saw them. The golden square boxes of crayons stacked up and standing tall, almost grinning. The rainbow colors of spiral notebooks, the familiar squatty bottles of Elmer’s Glue, the little people hand sized scissors. All of it, lined up in what was just a few weeks ago the sunscreen aisle. Attention retailers, can I just have a moment? And can that moment be called SUMMER? I still need popsicles, sunscreen, hot dog buns, and beach shovels and pails. My brain and my kid’s brains are still currently on hiatus from structure of any kind. So when I see reams of wide ruled notebook paper and protractors staring at me from store shelves on the third week of July, I get a little tense. I am not ready people. Not. Ready. I still have long lazy days to enjoy, mornings to sleep in, lunches to NOT have to pack and plan. I need our seasons of life to not be determined by the front of store displays. I need it to still be the season of SUMMER, not the season of fall planning.
To add insult to injury, the back to school gear catalog from Pottery Barn Kids and Teens came in last week. Thank God, because now we can all breath a sigh of ivy league elementary school relief. I was starting to get a bit nervous that my only back to school gear options were gonna be from that gawd awful red bullseye place, you know the one we sorta pronounce in quasi French. I mean, I don’t want to buy my kid’s lunchbox in the same place where I buy my tampons, just sayin.’ So when my mailbox unloaded those back to school pages of fall catalog euphoria, I skipped into my house, practically giddy, holding all of its’ glossy goodness. Thank God. Now I can sit down, relax, and have a perfect bird’s eye look at everything my own children and my home are NOT. Man, I don't know about you, but I personally cannot wait to feel more inferior, more stylistically challenged and parentally inept than I do when I turn those pages. Ahhhh, just looking at the cover, dripping with classic autumnal hues, wool cap wearing 7 year olds sporting sueded dirty bucks, tweed blazers and bow ties (who appear to be outfitted for a frat meeting at Ole Miss-not the 2nd grade,) I am immediately transported to the happiness that is the first day of school. Except that it is 99 degrees outside, and oh yea, STILL JULY. But hey, I am inspired by what I see, so I jump on the PBK design blog, you know, just to see what the latest and greatest in lunchbox, backpack, homework ‘station,’ and dorm trends are. And here they are:
1. Your kid’s lunch better be Bento style
And also prepared by the staff from Whole Foods, and served in a $50 stainless steel divided feng shui style box. Because PB&J, a banana, and some chips are so 2005. Do you get just a wee bit peeved when your kid loses a $1 Ziploc container? Just think how delighted you will be when they come home without this beauty.
2. Your kid needs their own home office
Complete with a $700 adjustable leather chair, an old beat up suitcase a la thrift store, hanging industrial looking lights that scream jailhouse, a magazine sorting system, and a tin lunchbox circa 1940. Sorry mini CEO’s, but I did my times tables on the kitchen table, and turned out just fine. As a matter of fact, I am able to actually concentrate and write this post from my current office, the laundry room.
3. College dorm closets are not just for beer anymore
Because you definitely need someplace to store the 30 pairs of shoes you brought with you. And your typical dorm room has plenty of space for rolling carts and boxes made of linen. I am sure those will never, ever, see pizza grease or vomit.
4. High school is hard on your daughter, so she needs a ‘lounge’ room.
After a long day of 19th century lit and negative integers, I too like to come home and lie down like a Kardashian on a plush chaise with star pillows, under a chandelier, a wall light reminding me how ‘Wonderful “I am, and surrounded by old vinyl records and suitcases. Again with the vintage suitcases! Memo to self- next time you see one at the Hospice thrift store for $5, BUY and EBAY. Asap.
5. Everything your kid owns needs to be personalized.
Yep. Even that. My kid’s school supply list says he needs 6 spiral notebooks. No biggie, this will only set me back about $60, and they will stay as crisp and fresh looking as they do in this picture all year long. And honestly, it is such a pain in the ass for my kid to have to WRITE their name on all their stuff. It’s not like there are local children currently living in poverty, who I could entirely outfit with a backpack, a lunchbox, and every school supply they need for the whole year with that same $60. Charity, shmarity- little Todd needs to know Spidey is all HIS.
So I am happily tossing out the fall catalogs, and sticking with corn on the cob and lemonade for a few more weeks. We will all be ready soon enough. I am sure, a month from now, having done every summer activity we can think of, I will be singing and pushing my shopping cart down the school supply aisle with enough glee to garner my own musical number. And then, a week later, the Christmas trees will show up.