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Back To School Shopping Angst

It’s that time of the year when you know that summer is ending. Circulars and coupons of back to school sales get crammed into my mailbox or bombarded in my email that I become anxious before I even look at the sales.

I used to love shopping for school supplies and school clothes for my daughter when she was young. We would go to places like Children’s Place or Gymboree for clothes, then Target and Staples for school supplies. It was quite an adventure for us since we never knew if we would find everything she needed in one place or would have to drive to other locations to find the right folders or colored pencils.

But over the years, back to school shopping has not been as adventurous as before. Maybe it’s the fact that school supply lists would not get to us before the week of school starts, so we would have to scramble to get as much done as possible. Maybe it’s the thought of waiting on long lines to purchase these supplies the week before. Maybe it’s the fact that my patience to look for supplies has thinned, or the fact that my daughter has very definitive ideas of what she wants to wear or use for school at 13, which makes me feel more like a bystander instead of the decision-maker like I was years ago.

I do have fond memories of shopping for school supplies for Shaina when she started Kindergarten. The look of glee as she chose her very first backpack, pencil case, crayons and of course, first day of school outfit makes me smile as I remember these things. Back then, it was exciting to purchase supplies for my “big girl”. It was an adventure that we did together.

This time around, the choice of school supplies or clothes is no longer determined or chosen by me. School supplies were still purchased at Target and most likely, will be added by a run to Staples after school starts. As for clothes, Children’s Place and Gymboree have been replaced by Abercrombie, Delia’s & Wet Seal. The good news is that she still asks my opinion of what looks good on her, but I no longer have the luxury of choosing what I think she should wear, she does. While I may not relish back to school shopping as I used to, I can think of it as a “growing out” process, easing the pressure of choosing what my daughter will need while paving the way for her to make her own decisions with me by her side. That’s my take on this, what’s yours?

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