Empty Backpacks

I think it’s safe to say that summer is winding down. I say this because school supplies have taken over our formal dining room table.  You can’t see the surface for eight glue sticks, crayons, markers, notebooks, and the other items on the official kindergarten supply list.

School starts for my son next week.  Mr. Cool is entering kindergarten, and my toddler will be going to preschool two mornings a week after Labor Day.   Yes, it does make me want to do a little happy dance.  Having six hours a week, with no child at my side, will hopefully recharge my batteries a little.  I am hoping that I will be more productive because I will have more stress-free time to be productive, if that makes sense.  You know what I’m talking about. A trip to a grocery store will take half the time because I won’t have to spend the first ten minutes in the entryway, struggling with Baby Diva to sit in the cart.  Note that I didn’t say my trips to Target would be shorter.  Just being honest. Those trips will take longer because I will actually have a chance to BROWSE.  Thank goodness for school.  Right?

Like many other parents, we purchased new backpacks this year.  I had so much fun picking one out for my daughter. My son even helped me. She’ll be carrying a personalized pink backpack embossed with a dancing ballerina cat.  I figured this would be the only time that I could pick something that I like and incorporate my favorite animal into her life, too.  She loves it.  She points to it and says, "Backpack!"  I actually understand what she is saying
Angel Street Kids

My son picked out his backpack, too. Apparently, he wanted a little déjà vu in his life because he wanted a larger version of the exact same backpack he carried last year to preschool.  That was easy!

As his new backpack sits on our table, I happened to glance at Parents magazine’s “Back to School” issue this week. The first paragraph read, “You may be tempted to send your child off with a plain blue backpack (the sturdy one that you like, without a bunch of silly bells and whistles), but folks, your kid’s not in preschool anymore.”

Um, I didn’t pick it out.  He did.  I can’t help it that it is plain, L.L. Bean sturdy, and blue.  If he comes home in a few weeks and wants a new one featuring Spongebob Square Pants, I will die.

Image Credit

I want him to fit in at school, but he also has to realize that money doesn’t grow on trees, and we have to stick with our family budget.  He will have to live with his choice, unless Santa decides to bring him a new one. 

Many children in need would love to have a new, empty backpack in their home waiting for the start of school, regardless of style or color.   And those same children, who rely on the school cafeteria to provide them two healthy meals a day, would love to take home every Friday a full backpack filled with nutritious food for them to eat over the weekend.  For some, it may be the only food they have to eat. That wish is a reality thanks to the Backpack programs in North Carolina.  Have you heard of these type of programs?  The Interfaith Food Shuttle and Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina are accepting online donations throughout the year to make this program a success.

The last days of summer are here.  We're making the most of our time, and you may see fewer posts from me as school starts.  We need some time to settle into our new routines, and I'm looking forward to volunteering for our school's PTA.  Next Thursday, the empty backpacks in my house will be full with school supplies and snacks as Mr. Cool begins his journey to kindergarten.  I hope a lot of other children’s backpacks will be, too.

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