First lesson of the school year: Supply and demandBeverly Godfrey column: I have children enrolled in three different schools this year. I know a lot of people do it, but it’s my first time, and I feel like I’m on the edge of what I’m capable of doing.
By: Beverly Godfrey, Duluth News Tribune
I have children enrolled in three different schools this year. I know a lot of people do it, but it’s my first time, and I feel like I’m on the edge of what I’m capable of doing.
Three health history forms. Three immunization records. Three photo orders. Schedules. Cell phone form. PTA memberships. Medicine self-administration sheet.
Supply lists the length of my arm.
Am I forgetting anything? You betcha.
“When I was a kid, we didn’t need this much stuff,” I said.
Oof, what a thing to say to make you feel old.
But as much as it might age me, I can’t help but remark that when I was a kid, school supply lists weren’t so long.
Did I say list? Strike that. There was no list. I showed up in the fall with two pencils and a box of crayons. Maybe a new pair of gym shoes, which were my only shoes, of course, and I wore them every day, all year.
I’m old, right?
But go back another generation, as my mother-in-law tells it, and you
didn’t even need the pencils. She grew up on the Iron Range, and “the mines supplied schools with things,” she said.
So the town’s industries supported schools to educate its next generation of workers? Interesting.
“Don’t worry,” I’ve told the kids. “There is no way we’ll be the least-prepared people showing up on the first day.”
But that’s all bluster. We might be the least prepared. At least, it feels like we might be.
One bus-route form listed a kid in the wrong grade. One is still without a class schedule. I need to decide soon what we’re doing about yearbooks.
Red folder, blue folder, yellow folder, green folder, black folder. Same for notebooks, and sorry, kids, but this store doesn’t have black, so we’re subbing purple. Erasers? We must have some in the house; I am not buying new ones. Zipper pouch? Which kind was it that broke apart last year? Anyone need a pencil box? It’s not on the list, but you might like to have one.
The News Tribune reported this month that the average family with school-aged children will spend $630 on back-to-school items. I’m doing my best to come in far under that total.
I already told the kids we’re not buying new clothes, but that was a lie because they needed new gym shoes, gym clothes, a swimsuit and socks. Those things were nowhere near the lunch boxes, but somehow, we picked up a couple of those, too.
And because they were on sale, I bought new crayons, even though, inexplicably, they weren’t on anyone’s list. When the dust has cleared and these kids are in school next week, the 2-year-old and I are going to sit home and color. It’s going to be awesome.
Beverly Godfrey is a copy editor for the News Tribune. You can reach her at bgodfrey@duluth news.com.