My Back-to-School Boycott

It finally happened today … The first day of school.  As I posted last year, I do not get sentimental when the kids go back to school.  I don’t cry or worry or wish they could stay home longer.  Honestly, I don’t really even miss them during the day.  Does that make me a major bitch mom?  Maybe, but I’m okay with it because I know my kids don’t miss me during the school day either.  The way I see it, we’re even.  This year was no different for me.  Following a trying last two weeks of summer, I practically pushed my boys out the door with two hands this morning … After taking the obligatory first day of school photos, of course.

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First day of 7th grade, 2015.

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First day of 4th grade, 2015.

Usually, my boys love going back to school.  This year … Not so much.  Their usual excitement seemed more like ambivalence (for my fourth grader) and even indifference (for my seventh grader).  I’d like to say it was because they simply wanted more time with me, but I know that’s not true.  I think schoolwork/homework is the true buzz-kill.  Older and wiser, I guess, even at ages 12 and 9.  The good thing is, their lack of enthusiasm made it easy for me to boycott the hell that is back-to-school shopping.

This year, we kept it simple:  A fresh haircut and some new underwear.  That’s it.  No new backpacks or lunch boxes.  No new clothes or sneakers, either.  Not even school supplies (sort of).  This year, we did back to school on the cheap.  Reduce, reuse, recycle — That’s my motto for the 2015-2016 school year.  Last year’s backpacks and lunch boxes were cleaned and reused.  Unworn summer clothes were pulled out for the first time (just like new!).  And with the exception of a few folders and a couple of three-ring binders that needed to be purchased, unopened supplies from last year were put to good use (I swear I could open my own Staples with the amount of unused notebooks, pens, markers and glue sticks we have left over each year!).

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A family tradition started by my grandma: New underwear for the new school year.

Am I being a back-to-school killjoy?  Am I being cheap?  Yes, but I like to think I’m also being practical … and environmentally conscious.  Luckily, I have two boys who don’t like to shop and don’t care what color their notebooks are.  They’d rather spend money on Eagles tickets or new basketball shoes.  To that, I say … Deal!

Happy New School Year, everyone.

– LJDT

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