We are now being inundated with what for many children (and more than a few adults) has become the three saddest words ever uttered. You can't turn on the television or log onto the computer without seeing Back to School ads. Being the daughter of a teacher, a former teacher, a mother of a school aged child and the wife of a teacher, I have mixed feelings about this time of year. For the first time since Robby started going to school, the commercials have not thrown me into an emotional tailspin.
wanting to delay the inevitable and hoping to fully maximize our saving
ability, we dedicated Saturday to Robby's back to school shopping. The
first store was packed to capacity with long lines snaking through the
aisles at each check-out. We were pushed, nudged, cursed at and cut off
on by an angry woman pushing a cart, all in our benign quest to find the
correct size pants. I appreciated the savings, but we certainly paid a
different type of price with our time and frustration levels.
what turned out to be an error of judgment, I decided that we should go
shopping at our local outlet mall instead of driving between all of the
stores. I figured that having the stores within close vicinity would
simplify our shopping and save us time. Apparently all of Northern
Virginia had the same idea because the mall was packed!
walked at a snails pace trying to avoid being whacked by the bursting
bags and the ample hips of our fellow shoppers. For whatever reason, my
prosthesis garnered more stares than normal. I'm accustomed to being
noticed, but the outright gawking was both rude and tiresome. Robby, who
is typically oblivious, even noticed the increased stares. After an
hour of tolerating the attention, he responded by meeting the stares of
the offenders until they noticed and were shamed into looking away. He
seemed to take a lot of enjoyment out of this game, proudly announcing
each time he "caught" another one looking.
Although it was more
frustrating and time consuming than we anticipated, we are done shopping
for his school clothes. Thankfully he doesn't particularly care about
fashion and he agreed to just about everything he was shown. I have to
admit that he handled the task with more grace than he has in
the past. Instead of crying and fretting, Robby simply accepted the
clothes and supplies without offering much in terms of
conversation. Of course, tormenting the starers probably distracted him
from complaining about spending the day shopping.
Next year, I think I'll just do our back to school shopping online!