Back-to-school shopping helps us consider what lies ahead

·3 min read

After 23 years of back-to-school shopping, I thought I was done.

From preschool to elementary, to junior high, to high school, to college, that is a lot of shopping trips. There was some overlap in between for our two children, who are four years apart.

Gone are the days when the kids needed glue sticks and 64-count boxes of crayons, although we still occasionally find glue sticks and crayons in the back of a desk drawer or the bottom of an abandoned book bag.

Recently faced with the back-to-school shopping challenge all over again, I had to consider where to start.

This trip would be far different and much more grown-up than the others were.

Our daughter is leaving for graduate school in a week, and, yes, she could have gone shopping by herself, but what fun is that? Plus, mom picks up the tab, so that’s always nice.

Mother-daughter shopping trips are few and far between at this stage, so I planned to make the most of every minute.

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Our list contained items for the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, study area, and of course, the wardrobe.

Starting with the kitchen, she had a mini blender on her list because breakfast is a beverage. I fondly remember mixing Nesquik with the kids’ milk in the morning, but that was many years ago. Today’s breakfast typically contains yogurt, fruit, spinach, protein powder and flax seeds —I remrember an odd mix of things that tastes rather good when combined. Plus, the health benefits are hard to beat.

Moving on to the bedroom, collapsible storage bins were on the list. She would need those for a four-square organizer cube her older brother brought home from college. The cube was left in the corner of the spare bedroom with no claim, so it was destined to make another move. The bins come in so many colors and patterns, it was challenging to select only four.

We picked up a shoe rack and a makeup organizer because between classes and clinicals, time will be of the essence. Staying organized will be a priority. One can hope.

She needed a desk chair because the one she used in college stayed in the apartment. More choices to face. A chair with arms or without? Black or brown? This decision was a tad easier because black matches the desk she was given, and arms provide a necessary rest for busy appendages.

By the time we got to the wardrobe, it was getting late in the day. We didn’t need polos and khakis this go around, but business casual and scrubs.

A few mixable neutrals later, and she was set — at least for the professional headshot that will be taken during orientation.

I can’t believe I have to say goodbye to her again, but she is ready to go, and her hard work has led her to this point.

Maybe back-to-school shopping isn’t so bad after all. It makes us think about the possibilities that lie ahead.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail. Send an email to her at lprejean@localiq.com.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Mail: Back-to-school shopping helps us consider what lies ahead