Uh-uh. Nope. No protractors or No. 2 pencils in this basket! Target Lady, please ring up these flag-printed flip-flops, this bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos and this bottle of Coke I’m supposed to share with my daughter, so I can return to the outside world where it is still July. Leave me to breathe in the humidity and burn my thighs on my leather seats. Let me get caught in an afternoon rain storm and be in awe of the purple and gold sunsets, because we are still in the middle of summer! Don’t rush me into fall Mr. Five Star First Gear. I am not having it.
I am not ready for supply lists filled with items that will come home half empty (notebooks) or completely unused at the end of the year (graph paper, red pens). I am still convincing myself that tanning my stomach will make it look flatter. I don’t have time to worry that my kid will get scoliosis because she’s in a middle school with no lockers and all six of her teachers require separate 1-inch binders and three-subject college-ruled notebooks.
I know that there are on-the-ball mamas out there who are wandering the back-to-school aisle today, checking off their supply lists and reveling in the sheer beauty of not fighting over the last pair of lefty scissors, but I am not one of them. At 3 p.m. today, my kid and I will be debating whether to get a salted pretzel or a churro at the water park. We still have five weeks left before engaging in this conversation:
Me: Are the vocabulary words in the book or are they on a ditto?
Kid: A what?
Me: A ditto. You know, when the teacher puts the words on a sheet of paper and Xeroxes them for the class?
Kid: What is Xeroxes?
Me: Seriously? Xerox, like a Xerox machine to make copies?
Kid: OHHH! You mean a copy machine! No, the words aren’t on handouts. They’re in the book.
Me: OK, so she wants the assignment done on loose leaf?
Kid: On what?
Of course, I understand that this is the way the retail industry works. Back-to-school starts in July, Halloween costumes come out in August, display Christmas trees are decorated in October, and Easter baskets replace the candy hearts on February 15. But how can we enjoy today when we can’t stop thinking about tomorrow? The moment that first three-prong poly folder enters this house, summer is essentially over. I am not ready. I haven’t even made it to Disney, yet! So, I am putting my foot down and focusing on one season at a time. It is summer, and summer it will be until the first bell rings on August 24.