Tuesday, August 11, 2015

School Shopping, 2015--Decisions, Decisions

Individual school shopping was squeezed in between vacation and trips to the cabin this year. The kids didn't need much, and our trips were short, but I love spending the day just us.

Youngest to oldest

Eve was excited to get shopping and couldn't wait to find sweaters. Sweaters?! We live in the desert!
She grew the most this last year and needed the most new clothes--especially shirts which overnight had begun showing her belly button.

Her biggest decision this year--which backpack would she buy? I don't know why this was such a difficult decision. She sat on the floor there for ten minutes, weighing the pros and cons of each choice.
 Although she loved the white dress gloves that came with the Elsa backpack, she settled on a light blue one with sequins.

Hyrum was thrilled when it was his day to go, and all he wanted to do was go to the dollar store to spend the remainder of his dime money from our vacation. Notice the fanny pack?
I allowed him to wear his new shoes before school started, mostly because I bought them when I was shopping with Eve (they were on clearance, and I was afraid they wouldn't be there the next day), and I was trying to convince him how awesome they were. His biggest decision was which candy to buy with his own money--who cared about clothes!

Micah was very patient while waiting for his turn to shop. Lily was still in India when I took the two younger kids, so he had been the designated babysitter during their trips. By the time his turn came around, he was ready to get out of there!

Micah has played in the orchestra for the past two years, and he had outgrown his half-size cello. Since he knows a little bit more about the instrument now than he did two years ago, I took him with me to choose his new one. He played the first one and thought it was fine. "I'll take this one," he said. I insisted he at least try the other one they had his size, and the second he put it in place, he said, "NO! This is the one!" and he played it and played it and played it.
 It's funny how an instrument can be the same shape and size and yet feel so different from then next one.

Micah's biggest decision: which shoes to buy. He's beginning to be aware of clothes and brands and how things look to others, and his friends had told him to look at one store for this cool brand of shoes. When we got there, I was shocked how much they cost, and I wasn't willing to spend that much on shoes he will outgrow pretty quickly. I then remembered his leftover money from our trip, and I asked him if he would be willing to chip in his money to cover the $25 above what I had budgeted for school shoes. Without hesitation, he blurted, "YES!" To his dismay, none of the stores carried his size in the color he wanted, but online we were able to find what he wanted--and he had enough money to buy two cool pairs of socks as well. Adolescents and their fashions . . .

Lily. My child left at home that I have seen so little of these past few weeks. She was home from India and Pakistan for only two days before she left again for EFY in Idaho. I was grateful to have a day alone with her to hear about her adventures abroad and her excitement and worries for this next year.

Lily is attending a new school this year--new rules, new friends, and a new dress code. Clothes don't have the appeal they once did, but her mind turned to how she can express herself within the confines of the code. Nail polish. Necklaces. Hair accessories. Oh, and shoes--did I mention shoes?
One thing I will remember about our shopping together this year was her response when, less than 24 hours home from her trip, I asked her what she needed for school. "Mom, I just got back from Pakistan. I don't need anything."

We had fun laughing and playing and eating and being silly--even leaving obvious notes on strangers' cars.
We were not quietly comparing planners and notebooks in the aisles of Target when a lady left her cart and walked over to us. "You two are fun to watch. You have the cutest mother/daughter relationship!" Lily and I exchanged a look. She laughed and said, "Shopping with you today has been like hanging out with one of my friends. It's been fun."
I love these trips with my kids and the memories we make as they prepare for the new school year. The time in the car and in the stores and in the restaurants is invaluable to build our relationships with each other--not just as mom and child, but as the friends I hope we'll be the rest of their lives.

School? We're ready around here!

It starts tomorrow!


  1. Reading this post makes me nostalgic for those days when I still had kids living under my roof. Still, I can't complain. i have grandkids living under my roof about half of the time these days…

    Love that a lady stopped and commented on your relationship with Lily. Sounds like she is doing (and learning) great things.


  2. The picture of Eve siting in the isle at Target deciding on a backpack is priceless!!