You would think when summer vacation comes around, parents get a break from the headaches of homework, detentions, making sure kids get to school/tutoring/soccer on time, etc. That is not entirely true. Summer vacation forces parents to prepare for the upcoming school year and sometime between July 1 and August 15, you start and finish planning. This Friday involves a new student orientation at my younger brother’s college of choice. After that, it is getting him ready and my son ready for the upcoming school year.
From the moment July started I knew the chance of sneaking a nap in between now and August 15 wouldn’t happen. It is time to start planning and dealing with the dreaded school shopping experience, which as your children get older, gets much worse. You have to start early because school shopping like getting your teeth pulled and the earlier you start, the more money you save. Considering I am raising boys and boys hate shopping for anything means that I have to be ready for a hair-raising and extremely tiring adventure.
Wait there’s more! This process is even more difficult when you are mother who lives with chronic illness. Chronic illness means you have to plan and you have to plan really well because there is always a chance that those plans may have to be put on hold because of a nightmare flare-up that hits when you least expect it, like in the middle of the mall when your children are running into multiple directions, pouting because you refuse to pay a $100 for a white pair of sneakers, in particular because you know they will somehow be black in a week, and if you are going to pay a $100, they may as way buy the black ones.
The shopping experience is like riding a never-ending rollercoaster. The advertisements are everywhere in various forms. “Back to school.” “Get them before they are gone.” “Don’t miss out.” “Don’t delay.” Have you gotten dizzy yet? I did and I am already sweating, my hands are shaking, teeth clenching and that knot is forming in my stomach. It is time to hit the mall and I want to hide under my covers. It is time to count to ten several hundred times in less than hour and get it over with.
Was school shopping and planning for the upcoming school year this difficult for our parents? I recall that we wore what my mother bought until we were old enough to pay for things on our own. I was babysitting from age 12 just so I could wear what I wanted and pay for what I wanted. That taught me the value of hard work and I learned that I can always get what I want when I want it. I still have not figured out how to teach that to my kids. I am not saying that they are spoiled because God knows, I cannot afford all the things they ask for, but they get more leeway with their dad and me than I ever could with my own mother. Of course, I still sit up straight when my mother walks in a room.
Well then, it is time to begin the dreaded process of returning to school. I am so not ready for this and an empty wallet because I have been having nightmares about that electric bill considering there is multiple air conditioners running. Can I hide under my covers now?