By Lorry Myers
The aisle was crowded which I expected this time of year. I didn’t have a good reason to be there; I just couldn’t stay away. Here is where the action is, a sense of excited expectation that I need to feel. The school supply aisle is a happening spot; the place where the new begins.
Most of my life I hung out in this row of school supplies with familiar names like Big Chief, Elmer’s and Crayola. With three children, I had three lists to fill and there were years that I bought plain folders or generic crayons to save a few bucks. Backpacks were the item my kids agonized over the most and every year, some rebel would try to slip a Trapper Keeper in the cart, even though the rule was clearly stated on the supply list.
“No Trapper Keepers”.
After we checked everything off the list, the supplies had to be sorted and organized. Paper was loaded into binders and pencils into pencil holders. Different variations of name styles would be practiced before being permanently penned on the front of new folders.
Excitement was in the air.
Now that my children’s school days are behind them, I miss the frenzy of the new school year and the adjustments to class times and bedtimes and lunch times. My children were always anxious to start a new year even though they knew summer was officially over and school rules were about to kick in.
Life was about to change.
New notebooks helped, cool ones with flashy colors or neon designs. Some years it was cartoon pencils or a neon glue stick. The bribe of a new backpack, the promise of portfolio, the character of a calculator, those are tools I would use to jumpstart the enthusiasm of a student who wasn’t ready to go back to school.
Those school days are over.
Yet there I was standing at the end of the school supply aisle looking longingly at the chaos. There were families scattered up and down the aisle… families of all shapes and sizes. Everyone it seemed, had a list; either clutched in a hand or held in a phone. Folders and crayons and pencils are obviously on every list and in every cart and I watched as the children carefully made their choices. From the end of the school supply aisle, I could feel their excitement and something that almost felt like hope.
Almost like another chance.
For the complete column, please see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.