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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back To School Shopping

August, already! Really?! Who's ready for back to school?

Since it's back to school shopping time already and I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet, does that mean I am behind the game? Are the Easter decorations out yet?

I truly do love back to school shopping with my boys. We carried on a tradition my mom did with my brother and I when we were little. 

We each got one day out with our mom all by ourselves to shop and eat where we wanted. We even got to sit in the front seat of the car! No fighting, no pouting and no whining. Wait, maybe it wasn't so much for us, but for my moms sanity.

Whatever her reasons may have been, it was something I looked forward to do every summer and is a warm memory of mine.

When Joe's first shopping trip came around, I don't know who was more excited, me or him. He was so proud. He told anyone that would listen, well lets be honest-he didn't care if you listened, that he was shopping for his Kindergarten clothes. It still brings a smile to my face remembering him tell the people at the Gap counter he is getting is K clothes and that he is going to school.

The day stuck with him as something special, like how I remembered it being. He was excited to go the following year too.

I knew though, that this is a great tradition to have, when he got excited for Jake to go on his first ever school shopping trip last year.

He told Jake all the stores he had went to his first time, what he bought, where he ate and even what he ate.

My favorite memory of Jake's first trip was waiting in line to check out at "JakeyPenny's" (he swore that's what JC Penny's was called), he looked up and saw a mannequin in a long sleeve shirt and track pants. For those of you who don't know Jake, that is like his uniform. If I'd let him, he'd wear that combo outfit all summer long. This particular outfit was even green, his favorite color.

He said eyes wide and pointing - "Dat. Dat wight dare. I want dat fo kinagawden."

So we go out of line and got "dat" outfit. It turned out to be the most highly worn outfit all year long. His first day pick even.

Last year we worked harder with Joe understanding how to make his money stretch. He was more then welcome to buy that shirt that wasn't on sale, but it would take a big chunk out of his budget. We'd see what else was on sale or on the clearance racks before he committed to it. He got excited to see that he could buy 3 clearance shirts for the price of 1 regular.

This year they were gifted some $ for school shopping. What they were given, I will let them buy clothes without my opinion, which will be a new adventure to add to our shopping trip! We'll see how that goes...

So I urge you to try it with your family. It's never too late to start. We only did it once they were in K. Jake was ok with being left out of the experience for 2 yrs because he knew it was special and his time was coming fast. Too fast if you ask me.

If you have an only child, you can still make it special by not doing a single thing during the trip out that has to do with you. Don't pick up that milk, don't scoot over to see if they have baskets on sale. The special school shopping trip is all about 1 person, and it's not you. That's not always as easy as it sounds either!

Your child will thank you. And if they don't, like I probably never did to my mom, they will by honoring the yearly tradition by doing it with their kids.

What is your families favorite back to school traditions? If you do try this way of shopping this year, I'd love to hear how it went for your family too!

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