School supply sales are going on at stores across the country. As unschoolers, we aren’t required to purchase a minimum 4 boxes of facial tissue, 20 #2 yellow pencils,10 colored folders, and so on. However, being the frugal (my husband is coughing and saying tight wad as he reads this) mom that I am, I’m not adverse to taking advantage of sales. After all, my kids use crayons and glue. They like to write various thoughts and projects in composition books. I sometimes even find some nice stocking stuffers for Yule.
The smell of the marketed Back to School section of the local store is a bit intoxicating to me. I used to wonder if my children were perhaps missing out on something, as they don’t seem to get the same thrill as I remember from that smell. Then I began to watch the parents as they hurried kids through the section, while we took our time looking at things, thinking if there was a project that an item might come in handy for. The parents were rushed and harried. There was no reminiscing smell for them.
That was when it hit me. That smell represents new beginnings and new possibilities to me. A new box of crayons was cherished. My special pencil or pen allowed me to write when the new school year turned out to be just as disappointing as the previous, unchallenging one.
My children aren’t missing out on anything. They aren’t looking forward to a new beginning because they are always looking forward to life. I enjoy being able to sit back with my children, purchasing some new supplies, and looking forward to the rest of the world going back to school. Once again we will be able to go places without hoards of kids in matching T-shirts being herded by a couple of underpaid teenagers. We’ll go on living and learning as always. When I need a reminder when some of those doubts start to creep in, I’ll pull out a new box of crayons and smell it.