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Reluctantly Heading Back to School

August 12, 2019
By Christine Armour

Sigh. I swear it was just last week that it was Memorial Day weekend and I was hauling my MIF tshirt collection out trying to decide which ones I was going to wear this year. And now I’m hauling uniform shorts out of drawers and forcing them on a very resistant 9- year old only to find out that he had a growth spurt and the stockpile of shorts I had was all for not. Fortunately, the shoe store still had his Merrell’s in stock and we were able to grab the last pairs of shorts in his size at our second stop. A swing by Jerry’s as a reward to him for having a good attitude and a reward to me for the very same reason and we’re home. Mission Accomplished.

The one thing I did at the end of school year before mentally checking out for the summer payed off- I had printed out last year’s school supply list and when he came home with a backpack of school supply leftovers I highlighted what we now had and stashed them away in his backpack ready to go for the next school year. The school supply list may have some changes year to year but it’s usually pretty consistent so this small step saves me a lot of time and money every year.

I’d like to say I was one of those supermoms who meal preps every Sunday for the entire week but I spend my Sunday afternoons either at soccer practice or curled up on the couch with my dogs in bitter denial of the inevitable Mondays. What I do (maybe once a month), however, especially because my kids’ schedules require the planning skills of a D-day invasion, is make enormous quantities of spaghetti sauce, gumbo and crawfish etouffee to freeze in family dinner size portions so that on busy nights all I have to do is throw one out in the morning to defrost and then come home to reheat while making pasta or rice. I also keep the freezer stocked with pork tenderloins to be baked while we do homework or are preparing to go to practice. Brinner- Breakfast for Dinner- is a very popular quick, easy and cheap option. And my devotion to a baked chicken from Costco could be expressed in interpretive dance.

No matter how organized I make the practical side of the start of a new school year, I’m never emotionally ready.  I love having all my little birds in my nest and with one in college, one a senior in high school and one beginning fourth grade I greedily grasp onto each moment I get with them knowing how fleeting this time is. So we’ll probably hit Jerry’s again. And maybe Gus’ and Gibson’s as well. Take the pups to Shelby Farms to watch the sun set on the lake or even just float in the pool and daydream together about next summer.

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