School Shopping Blues

October 5, 2009 dorettamills
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Back to school shopping always brings back bittersweet memories.  Watching frazzled mothers taking their children school shopping reminds me of the times that I took my own two children through this ritual of growing up.  The excitement of buying new clothes and attempting to negotiate with the kids to get items that are within budget but will still pass the peer inspection can cause major meltdowns for parents and children.

I remember the scenes with my children–especially my daughter.  When she reached her teen years, shopping became a nightmare for both of us.  “But Mom, you  just don’t understand.”  Nobody wears that style anymore!”  These words echo through my mind when I see moms and kids going through what must be the universal conflict parents and children have every year at this time of the year.

The other day at a local department store I observed a very interesting exchange between a pre-teen and her mother.  The girl was trying to convince her mother to buy a very expensive pair of shoes.  The mother was clearly torn between staying within budget and wanting to please  her daughter.  Just when I thought she was about to cave in to her daughter’s pleadings, the daughter’s attention was diverted to more sensiblwe and less expensive pair.  A smile crossed both their faces and peace was restored once again.  As the mother paide for the purchase and they walked out the door arm in arm, I smiled and thought of the many times I had gone through the same scenario with my own daughter.

My mind was suddenly jolted back to the present when I heard a familiar voice, “Nanny, why can’t I have these shoes?”  I turned my attention back to my own pre-teen granddaughter.  She was holding the only shoes in the entire store that would make her truly happy with life and with me.

You see, although my children are now grown I have four grandchildren to care for and three of them will be in school this year.  Although years have passed since my own children were in school, school shopping is a yearly ritual that has changed little over the years.

No matter how many tempers flare and disagreements arise, all is forgiven on that all important first day of school when the most beautiful and most intelligent children in world step out of the house and on the bus to embark on a fresh new adventure known as the “first day of school.”

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