It’s Labor Day weekend, and school starts next week. Sometimes I think I’m more excited about it than the kids. No, not for the obvious reasons (like getting them out of the house, a stable routine, less time with two brothers together so they’re not killing each other.) No, it’s something much more trivial -- the shopping!

 

Call me crazy, but there’s something so satisfying about sitting down after the kids are in bed with a glass of wine, the laptop and all the time in the world to obsess over jacket labels, multi-colored pocket folders, sneakers and personalized backpacks. I don’t feel one bit guilty about it, because it isn’t for me, and I’m not buying anything I wasn’t urged to by their teachers and school

administrators. Well, they didn’t actually tell me to get them monogrammed dinosaur and camouflage backpacks with matching lunch boxes, water bottles and food containers…but they have to put their supplies and snacks in something, right?? They do need new jackets, but why stop at a serviceable parka? Isn’t it so much more fun to get adorable little band jackets and pea coats with skulls on them? And matching hats? Wait, will they actually wear those without me stapling them to their heads? Time for a refill.

 

When I was a kid, online shopping didn’t exist, and I was dragged around by my mother to store after store in search of the perfect sandal. No longer; the perfect sandal is now at most two clicks away and can be done without editorializing and whining from the minors in question. I know what my kids like and what I’m willing to indulge them in, so it’s pretty much a fantastic shopping experience. With all that time saved, I thought it would be a fun family exercise to make labels for my 3rd grader’s composition notebooks. Industrious mama made a label document, typed his name and suggested he choose a cool font. Silly me. I swapped the shopping headache for hours of changing this typeface to that one, increasing and decreasing the size, and he’s still not sure. How many days ‘til September 8th?