I love back-to-school season. When I was younger, I used to get excited when stores started setting out stacks of notebooks and binders, and bins of glue sticks and pencils. I loved summer, but I was always excited to get new things, wear new clothes, and see friends that I hadn't seen since school had gotten out. When I was young, my mom had a JC Penney credit card. A few weeks before school started she would bring home the big fat JC Penney catalog and each of my siblings and I would excitedly go through it and print our initials by clothing items we wanted. My mom would either order them over the phone, or take us into the store for things that needed to be tried on (I'm sure she had to do some narrowing-down before the final purchase. I remember a pair of pink cowgirl boots that did not the cut). Once I had my new outfits, I would lay them out on my bed and plan what I would wear on the first day of school. My mom would then spend the year paying of the balance on her Penney's card so that she could use it again the next summer.
I still feel the anticipation of back-to-school. I love seeing kids go school shopping with their moms. I love how the air is getting cooler and the days are getting shorter. I'm looking forward to the changing leaves, hot soup and pumpkin cookies, my favorite holiday (Halloween), and experiencing it all with my little family. I am definitely in no rush at all for Olivia to experience back-to-school though. When I think about helping her onto a bus, or leaving her in a classroom to think and learn for herself and make new friends, I feel a pit in my stomach. So until that dreadful day, we are still eating summer's fresh produce, bought from roadside stands, sharing sno-cones at our favorite shack, playing on the lawn in the sprinklers, and watching the setting sun outside Olivia's window before I lay her in her crib. And I will cherish the days when I get to snuggle with her all day while older kids are in school, teach her how you get to eat a few chocolate chips before you dump them into pumpkin batter, and take long walks along our pond to collect leaves. Of course she'll still get plenty of new clothes :)