Sunday, December 8, 2019

"The BSB" Published

This article appeared in the August 2019 issue of "Your Country Neighbor."

The BSB 
Janet Sobczyk, 2019 

It happens every year at this time.

One week I’m enjoying the laid-back, less-busy days of July, and the next I walk into a Back to School sign at the grocery store. Literally! I’m clumsy.

That first jolt doesn’t sit well. I know some parents are more than ready for school to begin. But my insides churn at the thought of all the summer things I haven’t done yet. Sure, I’ve stayed up later and slept in sometimes. I’ve enjoyed walks, tended flowers, and slurped ice cream cones. But what about my list?

I start every summer with a long list of want-to-do’s. The list includes recreation ideas and projects around the house. A quick look now shows very little accomplished. Time to go into summer overdrive.

First, I schedule a gathering with relatives, and a trip to visit my sister. Next, schedule the school physical and eye exam. Then prioritize the projects. Painting, cleaning, organizing. I’ll clear out the garage on the next cool day. Sort old photos on a beastly hot day. Okay, the huge pile of pictures might not get done. Winter’s a good time for that, or next summer. I’m good at procrastinating.

Time to make another list. A long shopping list of back to school supplies and clothes for a growing daughter. I dread starting this because it can be an expensive outing, and it signifies to me the end of summer. Yes, there will still be plenty of hot weather through September, but when school starts in mid-August, it’s all over.

I dread making that list, but I actually enjoy getting it done. At home I label and help pack each item into the backpack, double-checking the list. There’s something about new school supplies that makes me feel like anything is possible. It’s a fresh start that’s better than New Year’s Day.

The backpack then sits and waits patiently to be called into action. It’s last year’s model, but should make it through another year. When new, it sat up straight and ready to go. Now it slouches, and a pocket is torn, but it’ll hang nicely on my daughter’s back for the annual, first-day-of-school photo on the front porch. Smile!

By now I’m smiling at the thought of it all. The routines. The activities and events. Seeing kids and parents I haven’t seen all summer. It will be a good year.

Yep! I’ve caught it. The Back to School Bug!

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