School Supply Zombies

By Lesley Rousso

 

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Wow, can you believe the summer just flew by so fast?  It seems like it was just the end of the school year and now here we are, back already.  We’re buying uniforms and shiny new backpacks.  Everyone, well at least us as parents, are excited for the new school year.  Then, we get the dreaded school supply list.  Now in years past, when all three of my kids were in elementary school or preschool, I could access the list online and get everything labeled and packed up before my little darlings set foot into school.  My daughter’s school, Palmetto Elementary (go lions) makes it even easier for us.  The PTA provides a school store, where you can buy the entire list for the grade level and pick it up, neatly packaged just for you, the week before school begins.

For my two boys, both in middle school this year, this isn’t the case.  On the first day, each teacher presents them with a class syllabus which includes a list of supplies they’ll need.  This is all fine and great but multiply it by two and you’ll want to take a gun to your head.  Nevertheless I headed to my neighborhood Staples, armed with my lists.  Now these days we are all about technology, so I decided to just take pictures of some of the lists.  This way I won’t lose them.   I’m particularly good at losing things, just ask my kids.  My keys have been missing inside the house for three days.  Thank goodness I didn’t lose the spare.

Anyway, I pull into Staples, greeted with a packed parking lot, having to walk at least a mile to get inside.  Believe me this is nothing compared to the circles I was walking in once I actually entered the store.  Now as I start shopping I see that of course, they are out of at least five of the things I need.  Or I just cannot find them.  Ask for help you say?  There is no help, everyone is busy manning the registers for the thirty plus people in line.  I know it’s a stretch, but how about having extra staff this week Staples?

So I see some people I know, doing the same thing as I am.  Then it occurs to me, we are all walking in circles, like zombies ,or morons, pushing our carts, trying to find what we need with our hundreds of different lists.  It is MINDNUMBING.  I am a shopper, by nature, by DNA.  Retail makes me happy.  I have had pure euphoria in stores.  Of course these stores usually have the words Saks Fifth Avenue in their names but whatever.  I was literally shaking in Staples.  Another thought hit me at the register.  How in the hell do people who are on a tight budget buy all this crap?  Just for one child alone it was over one hundred and thirty dollars.  I don’t blame our fabulous teachers.  They need this stuff and Miami-Dade county certainly isn’t giving them the money to buy anything extra for their classes.  I know plenty of teachers who have to spend tons of their own money just to make their classrooms what they need to be.

Wish me luck, I’m back at the store today for my oldest son.  If you don’t hear from me, check Office Depot…

Back To School We Go

request

By Lesley Rousso

I’m sure by now we’ve all seen the above post asking kids not to bully.  I couldn’t agree more with this, which of course, got me thinking.  My boys are middle schoolers now, one entering his last year and one just beginning.  I like to think I’ve raised them well so far, and that they know to always do the “right” thing in regards to how they treat others.  My daughter is just six and going into first grade.  With girls, its so different.  I’m fortunate to have an outgoing, kind, confident little girl.  Girls can be mean though and even the most secure girls still get their feelings hurt.  I do remind her often, to always be nice.  I tell her that she may not like everyone, but unless someone is mean to her, she should just be nice.  I tell her that if she has something not so nice to say about someone that she can just vent to me.  She’s not instinctively a “mean girl” thank goodness.

All that being said, I feel like we as moms could take a little lesson from this.  How many times have we as women walked into a new situation, and been shunned?  Whether its been at your kids school, a temple, a church, whatever, it’s happened to us all and we’ve all done it to someone.

Why?  Aren’t we as grown women supposed to know better?  Middle school has already come and gone for us.  A lot of us though, myself included, still play the mean girl on occasion.  We are all cliquey with our friends, not necessarily being welcoming of someone new to the scene.  How, my friends, will our kids learn to be nice if we are not showing them that we are nice?  I know, that’s a mouthful but it’s true. They learn by example.

So, here’s my version of that post:

Request to all the moms returning to school in August. If you see someone who is clearly new to the situation, who may not look great, who may not be the type you’d usually befriend, stop yourself from being bitchy or aloof. Say hi, smile at them, invite them for coffee. Be inclusive. Your kindness could make a big difference in their life, your life and the example you’re setting for your child.