Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Back to School Tradition

I'm not the best at traditions. In fact, I often forget stuff.
But one of my favorite things we do here centers around back to school.
I set aside one day for each child, and we go back-to-school shopping. Just us. For as long as it takes.
This year, it was five kids, five different days, five different shopping centers, five different choices in lunch.

Heidi (actually more than one day--and more than one shopping center, spanning three states no less! Ate at a fun hole-in-the-wall wraps place in Rexburg): New shoes: brown wedges at New York and Co, size 6. Favorite purchase--tan pleated skirt that will go with everything, including the "no shorts, no capris policy" at BYU-I. Interesting fact: Buying a size 8 skirt for 9.99 is worth it when Grandma T alters it down to a 2. Then it's long enough for the dress code.

Tucker (Chandler Fashion Mall, with lunch at Arby's): New shoes: Puma, size 10 1/2 wide. Favorite purchase: two free shirts (one for him, one for Ben, since they were identical) with the purchase of two pairs of jeans at American Eagle. Interesting fact: Tucker cares more for what an article of clothing feels like than what it looks like.

Ben (Tempe Marketplace, with lunch at Paradise Bakery): New shoes: also Puma, size 10 (Tuck's decided he likes Ben's better, but Ben's still smaller than he is by 1/2 a size). Favorite purchase: Green shirt emblazoned with "Chuck Norris doesn't break hearts, he breaks legs." I was lucky to limit him to one zany t-shirt. Interesting fact: Ben has finally graduated to men's sizes (29x32 pants, 14 1/2 shirt).

Lily (Gilbert shopping center, preceded by a "bacon bacon bacon lettuce and tomato" sandwich at Crackers and Co. in Mesa): New shoes: white sparkly Sketchers, size 1. Favorite purchase: new brown and pink messenger bag instead of a backpack. Interesting fact: Lily realized the value of a dollar when we went into Justice and discovered she could buy three times as many new clothes at Target. Great lesson!

Micah (insisted on "the Mall"--Superstition Springs in Mesa, with lunch and ice cream at McDonald's): New shoes: Black Converse high-tops, size 10 (both the size and the choice were surprises to Mom). Favorite purchase: tie between the Transformers lunch box and a Marvel superhero t-shirt. Interesting fact: Black Converse high tops make you kick higher, run faster and stop shorter than black and yellow Nikes. He was the amusement of every passerby as he demonstrated all the great qualities of the new shoes. Even had to nap in them!

Although it takes so much longer, and it probably costs more in the long run, I love the time I get with each of my kids individually, just us. It gives me interesting insight into their developing personalities and tastes, and I thoroughly enjoy our conversations. Plus, I hope it helps them remember that I love them, just for who they are!

Epiphany #84--A little individual attention is well worth the effort.

And as Micah would say, "Eight more days 'til school!"


  1. I love your tradition! Over the years you have inspired me with this particular tradition. (I also love the Christmas Eve present one!) I try to do a 1 on 1 also. Took my kindergartener out today--size 13 shoe! And wanted to try on everything in the store. Favorite purchase for both of my girls this year: Accessories, necklaces and hair stuff--good times. Janette

  2. I love those wedges! The brown ones for Heidi I mean, I saw them before she left. Now we decided we can wear brown wedges on the same day! Woo Hoo! We will never grow up, just so you know. :)

  3. I love this tradition too, and adopted and adapted it to our family. Would never have thought of it without you! Quinn chose Pumas also---must be cool! Sage also discovered she does not like Justice "all the cute stuff is immodest" she said! Teach 'em young! Kiefer needed almost an entire new wardrobe---and my interesting fact: I have no idea what is "cool" in high school, man am I old!

  4. I love that idea...I hope you don't mind if I copy... It seems I copy many of your ideas...You're an inspiration!!!

  5. Fantastic idea!!! It might even same time in the long run. My siblings and I would have little battles over stupid things shopping with mom and I am now sure it was over attention.

  6. Great idea, Jen. Too late for me to incorporate it now, but I'll mention it to my DIL for sure. One-on-one time is precious in any form, and this suggestion turns a tedious chore into a special event!

  7. What a great tradition. Sounds like a good time was had by all. I can just see Micah showing off his shoes. That boy is too funny! I think I'm finally ready to get back to reading and perhaps writing some blogs! Looks like you are too!