Dear Parents (mine, those I have worked with and for, and those who are expecting):
Today I realized that I am not, nor will I ever be an organized parent. I'm some other stuff, but not that. I bought school supplies two months ago in a bid to start fresh this year. It went something like this:
Trip to Target with two supply lists for Grade One and Three--think it will be fun to take the kids and "get them involved and excited about school". Spend first 5 minutes in store arguing about the quality of the Hannah Montana lunchboxes with youngest....spend second 5 minutes arguing about how much paper can fit into a notebook with eldest. Decide my kids do not need to be involved in this process one bit. Leave Target with partial supplies.
Trip to Staples to augment supplies without kids--Eldest needs an orange folder (per teacher request). Staples has every color, including polka dots and striped but no orange. Leave Staples with partial supplies.
Trip to Building 19 to pick up supplies for the students I work with--Building 19 has 0range folders. I feel so accomplished and proud of this school supply miracle, I forget the supplies I need for work. Leave Building 19 with partial supplies.
Now, pressure is on....places are starting to run low on supplies. I take out my lists and realize that I have the wrong list for youngest...each school has a different list and I have made the egregious assumption that each school grade would have the same supplies. Not so. Now, I am short 12 skinny markers and I have 8 little glue sticks instead of 4 fat glue sticks. Additionally, I do not have marble composition books and I have an extra binder. How hard can this be?
Eldest tells me that he has read his assigned summer reading but did it so long ago he has forgotten "every little bit". We take a trip to the library to find a required reading book....shockingly, a week before school, they are nowhere to be found. Trip to Borders to buy book. Eldest declares he doesn't really like the required reading, now that he thinks about it. Could we go back to Borders for a different book? Eldest finishes original book. I proudly sign off on the summer reading list form.
Now, finally, with one day to spare....school supplies are packed, form signed. One final check of the teacher's letter home Please have your child bring signed forms to school the first day.
Forms? More than one? Quick call to friend who is organized (which is a great parenting tip, always have friends that are more capable than you...they keep you from looking negligent). Yes, as a point of order, there is more than one form and this one is a graphic organizer that your child fills out, complete with making text to life connections.
For ever judgment I made as a young childless person, I apologize. For every unrealistic classroom demand I made on parents of my early students, I apologize. Most of all, I applaud the sublime grins my parents now wear a good portion of the time. You earned it.