It was a beautiful, late summer day and my kids and I were…..
in Staples. The school supply mecca.
… and with approximately three-quarters of the surrounding population because it seemed that EVERYONE got their “back-to-school” letters YESTERDAY.
The letters. Until college applications kick in, these room assignment and team assignment letters (depending on how your school works it) are the stuff of mailbox stalkings. Then…they arrive. You’ve never seen Facebook and emails fly through the virtual air at such a speed. And then, there are the texts and the phone calls. It’s actually pretty amusing in it’s ridiculousness. You would think that no one had anything better to do. Even today, over the peaches and plums in the grocery store, I ran into a fellow school-mom and we both instantly looked at each other like “Ok, what do YOU know?” James Bond hits suburbia. Who has this class?…Did you hear that they are still looking for a math teacher for the other team?…Did you know that so-and-so got split up, even though they’ve been in the same class for three years running? Those peaches and plums were info-central at that moment.
This is benign gossip at it’s best. Harmless and the most kooky transmission of information. Moms and students are a’twitter. Not The Twitter. A‘twitter.
So yesterday in Staples I almost would have liked to have pulled up a folding chair and just observed if my kids and I had not been on our own supply-seeking mission. The Moms were moving at top speed. The Kids were plodding along (molasses was springing to mind as a comparison). The Moms had an agenda. The Kids were loosely holding their lists, maybe hoping that they would accidentally drop to the floor, be trampled, therefore rendering the student unprepared for school, THUS resulting in the inability to show up for the first day. The Moms were peppy. The Kids were lackluster. Really, quite comical. Textbook end of summer.
We all love our kids (I know I do) but the last weeks of summer are when the strains of “I think we’re all ready to get back onto a schedule” fills the air. It’s a perennial Top 10 hit that always climbs the charts in late August. And it’s such a Catch-22, too. Part of me (we) wants to continue with this fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants existence that is brimming with excursions, laziness, ice cream for lunch and lack of timetables. BUT, there is the other side that is longing for some silence. Some end to the toy disasters and “creativity” around the house. A respite from the refereeing and squabbles betwixt darling, loving siblings. Ah, parenting in the summer. It’s such the conundrum sometimes.
One of my favorite ads of all times is a Staples ad, coincidentally enough. I never remember ads, either. I flip by them, not paying attention to them at all. Maybe I’ll invest a few minutes at Superbowl time, and that’s because there’s usually a side of guacamole and chips. This one is short, sweet and describes to a “t” what I witnessed today. And that’s what makes it perfectly funny…it has tapped into human nature. C’mon. You know you want to laugh and quite possibly ride a shopping cart this week. That is, If you haven’t already.