Tuesday, August 17, 2010

2010 Supplies!

When you hear the words - "Back To School" does it make your stomach queasy?  Do you suddenly feel a chill from cold sweat bursting across your brow?  Do thoughts of long lines for endless school supplies send you into a virtual panic attack?  Yeah, it does me. 

Let me say this - I love it when my kiddos go back to school.  L-O-V-E it!!!  They are naturally brainy kids who love to read and figure things out, but the shopping - UGH!  I hate it.  My son's school does this fantastic thing where I give a check to the school at the beginning of the year and they supply him with all of his needs.  That's awesome.  Except that it absolutely drives me crazy to think about my seven year old coloring with crayons that are not pristine out of the box.  I know - OCD allert.  I've always been a supply girl, and I absolutely refuse to color or do anything with crayons that are dirty or even slightly damaged.  Can I get an amen?

My dad instilled it in me... (LOVE my dad)... His desk contains mug after mug, container after container, of beautiful, wonderful awe-inspiring pens!  Colors that, as a child, only served to send my mind into a frenzy imagining all the creative possibilities with that pen.  I'm still that way...

Anyway, at the Eldridge house, we do a lot (did I say a lot?  I meant A LOT) of at home school work.  Hours of extra practice, studying, working and learning go into my children's lives during the course of a week.  I usually reteach and review with them whatever it is they're working on, not to mention the extra printables and brain development games that have thus far driven their love of learning.  So, I'm sure you can imagine that shopping for school supplies is more for us than just buying what they need in the classroom.  It's preparing for a whole new year of inspired learning...keeping the love of education alive...

So - my mom and I went on this crazy adventure.  I literally thought I could take all three of my kiddos to buy back-packs and school supplies.  Just me, my mom, and the kids - easy, right?  (Can you see me laughing - what was I thinking?!)  They were so ecstatic that we could hardly keep them with us in the first store.  It was like a weird movie where children are turned free in a shop filled with aisles upon aisles of delicious candies in rainbow colors!  They were excited about folders, and pencils, and notebook paper, and glue.... and then it happened.  My seven year old saw the wall of back packs!

Why is it that they seem to gravitate naturally to the most expensive thing on the wall?  After an hour of agonizing stress and a circle around town (stopping only at one more store) we finally went home with a lunch box for each of them, and a couple of trinkets from the Target $1 shelfs! 

With our heads more firmly attached, my mom and I headed out by ourselves, leaving those three monkeys with Grandpa.  And by the time we got home I had all the school supplies a home school room could need, back packs, folders, glue sticks, and a dry erase calendar for the two big kids for their projects and chores.  I could say that we barely escaped with our lives, and that wouldn't be stretching the truth too far...(just a little).  I felt like I was going to be a trampled victim of a wild stampeed as I reached for a ruler or protracter, or pencil box.  No joke!  And while I was waiting in line at 9:30 pm kids were running crazy around the registers, parents were screaming, and the sherriff's department was escorting a man out in a headlock.  And it was a week night!  (Insert HUGE sigh here)  It's over now.  Thank God!

What we obsessive, pencil-crayon-paper-folder-ruler-glue-general office supply loving parents will do for our children!!!

What on earth does this have to do with photography???  Visual history - man!  My kids will forever remember the piles of school supplies and the shopping sprees for notebooks, glue and paper!  The entire week leading up to school is like the week before Christmas for us.  I want to encourage people - don't let these little things pass you by!  You don't have to have a monumental experience to justify the use of your camera.  Life is all about a series of little moments that are put together to create history.  And just because you take the picture, doesn't mean that you have to scrap it into a 12x24 spread in the scrap book.  For me, it's a small addition to the album of snapshots that make up this week of school.  It's something our family will appreciate in twenty years as we pull out the albums on a Thanksgiving afternoon.  These memories are the ones that get lost if we don't capture them.  Please, don't let that happen to you.

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