Friday, July 31, 2015

Back to School Shopping

     It’s back to school shopping time!!  As sad as it is to kiss the summer days good-bye, shopping for school supplies makes it exciting (and financially draining.)
         Over the years we have learned a few things that work for our home.  First, we give our children the money we plan to spend on their supplies.  Giving them the money puts them in control.  They can choose the name brand products for their crayons and glue or buy the store brand and use the money toward other more treasured supplies.  They have the option of choosing the coolest book bag or realizing they can use the backpack from the previous year and save the money for something else.
         Another lesson we have learned is: within a few weeks max after school starts, all the supplies go on sale.  I usually stock up on the 5 cent sales on school supplies and have them in a big tub they can use any time during the year.
         I have a memory of my childhood that was also a lesson I have learned in parenting.  My mother would always buy me five dresses before school started and put them on layaway.  My mother’s reasoning was I could have a different dress for each day of the week.
         I loved getting ready for school that first week with my new school dresses, knee socks (to hide my self-consciously hairy legs) and saddle oxford shoes.  Mom would curl my hair with foam curlers, which were difficult to sleep on, but worth the morning’s surprise of delightful curls for my ponytails.  My ensemble was completed with yarn hair bows.  I assumed my position as the fashion goddess of first grade.
         As I grew throughout the school year my mother would purge my closet of clothes I outgrew.  I presume most of this purging took place when I was not around.  However, I remember when my mom chose to remove the heavy brown knit dress with white Peter Pan collar and paisley tie.
         I was adamant my mom could not give this dress away.  Even to my best friend, Michelle.  While my mom failed at attempts to coerce me to share the beautiful dress with my best friend, she also recognized its value to me.
         You see this beautiful school dress had become a date dress with my dad.  I had worn this brown frock on dates with my daddy, so this dress now held a special attachment to time alone with my dad.
         For many years this little dress hung by itself in our laundry room.  It even “moved” to our new home and stayed hanging longer than its original life expectancy.
         The point of my sharing this memory is a thank you to my mommy.  In her keeping of this little brown dress, I learned a lesson for back to school shopping.  My mom recognized the value of the dress was not in what it cost, but the value in the dress was my memory associated with it.
         Moms, I learned to apply this lesson to my life.  What may seem unimportant to me may be very important to our children.  Rather than; dumbing down, arguing, guilting or forcing my children to do or say or be a certain way, I could respect their wishes.
         Not always choosing to force my agenda, but rather to listen and embrace what is important to them.
         Ladies, as you school shop for supplies and clothes for your children, really listen to them.  Let them talk and hear what they say.  Care for and about what is precious to them.
         I want to be a mom who has respect and esteem for all people but even more so to those who live under my roof.

         Happy School Shopping Moms!
Romans 12: 10
"Honor one another above yourself."


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