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Friday, August 13, 2010

Back to School

The question I chose to answer for August, my first blog carnival month, is

It's back to school time...How are you preparing to get the kids or yourself back to school?...

Well, if you’ve read even a few of my recent posts, and I know they have not been abundant, you know that I’m preparing to send my first (and only) child off to college. I am preparing for school in a way I’ve never had to prepare before…and I mean that in more than one way.

We live in the Kansas City area. My son Joe will be going to University of Missouri – St. Louis, about 4 hours away, and playing baseball there. The baseball team, along with some of the other athletes, live in an apartment complex that is part of campus housing, rather than in a dorm. Since so much of our summer was taken up with out-of-town baseball tournaments, we’ve really just recently started preparing for school. My son and I have had a couple major shopping outings for clothes, school supplies, linens and other miscellaneous items. I love to shop and he has really enjoyed shopping for school items, but I must admit that after 6 hours of shopping on that first day, even I was getting a little worn down! I told him last night that an experienced shopping pair, like a mom and a daughter, could have breezed through this much faster. But he has been very careful in his selections, which took up a lot of time. The main reason I didn’t mind was that it was a chance to spend a lot of time with him, the most I’ve spent in ages. And it has been fun watching him have so much fun carefully picking out his new belongings.

We bought a used 2008 Scion tC for him to take to school because the truck he had been driving had become less than reliable. We did this in record time – 4 days between the first shopping outing and the night we drove the car home. Of course, some online research and phone calls had taken place earlier. But the start of shopping through the purchase time possibly took less time than the sheets and towels shopping time combined! Joe took care of getting the license plates, getting the name on the title corrected, etc., so that was a big help.

One of the most important things I’ve done to prepare for school is to start spending time for ME. I’m not looking forward to Joe’s leaving, so I’m trying to cheer myself up. A couple days ago, I went to dinner with some of my baseball mom friends, who are all going through the same thing. It was a fun evening. While I love to do beading projects, I usually make things to list in my Etsy shop. My recent projects have been earrings and bracelets for ME. (One of my bracelets is featured in this post.) And I’m thinking about things to do after school starts, like plan some weekend trips, start planning my second annual Halloween party and my fall jewelry open house, organize all my graduation and baseball photos, make my family calendar, focus more on my Etsy shops, finish my unfinished projects, then it will be time to start my Christmas shopping…I will have plenty to do to keep my busy. All I have to do is make it through the next couple weeks. That will be the hardest part.

If anyone has suggestions for coping with sending your child off to college, I'd love to hear them!

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