Taking Back the Dining Room Table

Labor Day Monday:  it is hot and my son and I stare at the dining room table.  It is covered in school supplies that we have purchased over the weeks.  I hunt for sales and buy what is needed.  He comes with me and makes selections.  It's all been accumulating on the dining room table.  Now it is time to tackle the task:  ORGANIZING it all.

Now my kid CAN do this all by himself, BUT I AM the hovering mom.  Plus, unlike a teen boy, I review things carefully to see who needs what.  My son will just dive head first into the pile.  He organized the writing utensils (pencils, blue pens, black pens, red pens, highlighters and white board markers) and other pencil case supplies.  (That would be the erasers, glue sticks, post its, etc.)

Then I go through subject by subject to make sure we select the right notebook for the task.  For example, science requires 3 one subject notebooks.  We've got 'em.  But which colors do we want to select?  (Green, blue and red turn out to be "science-like")  We also need a 2 pocket folder.  (DO NOT buy the cheap paper ones...they may be ten cents or less but they barely make it through the first week.  I have somewhat reluctantly invested in the more expensive [$2!!! They want their $2!!!) ones that sort of manage to make it to the end of the year.  Sort of.)  Social Studies requires a binder that is 2" (I hope that's what I got...please don't shoot me if I didn't) that can accommodate  a set of 8 tabs.  The teacher is obviously no slouch...she asks for reinforcements too. (My son had no clue what they were...where did I fail?  Come on...we all remember those round white stickers that saved papers that got torn, right???)  She also wants a hole punch that will fit in the binder. (The one I bought last year has mysteriously disappeared.  Along with a variety of other items.  The school supply black hole grows ever larger with each year.)  Hubby says the social studies teacher is probably tired of hearing that papers and folders got lost, hence the reinforcements and hole punch.  I think it a valiant effort, but I know my son will still manage to lose stuff...numerous times.

We go through subject by subject.   He labels and organizes; I had over items that fit the bill for the subject.  Amazingly, we get through the entire process in less than 30 minutes.  (See what having everything laid out and ready to go can do?)  Even more amazingly, it all fits into his backpack!  (Which also includes the locker shelves)

Even more amazing is that we have "left overs."  Being the insane mom that I am (and also based on past experience), there are extra binders, notebooks, folders...well basically EVERYTHING!  

I'm not sure if I'm crazy or really smart.  I take all the left over items and put them away purposefully.  (So I know where everything is...or at least I do for now.)  Since his pencil case from last year is still in acceptable condition, but not cool enough to use this year, I fill it with back up supplies and store it.  I'm feeling pretty proud and accomplished.  (Now if only my arms were long enough to pat myself on the back!)

Voila!  My dining room table returns!  My son is ready for school!  (At least in my mind)  He is ready for his last year in middle school.  (Am I?)

To all the teachers, students and parents...here's too a great school year.  I'll say a little prayer that we all get through it mostly unscathed.  (Fingers crossed, right?)  Personally, I'll pray that my son, who has matured greatly over the summer, maintains that semblance of maturity through out the school year. That the incidents of forgetting assignments will disappear.  That studying (and instrument practicing) will become habit.  That this year the road will be a little smoother.  And if not, maybe I be mature enough to handle it!


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