The Start of School, Then and Now

Next week, my boys will be starting third grade. Don’t ask how we got to this point, because I have no clue. Why, just the other day, we were starting preK-3 at their current school. And things were so different back then…

In August 2011, I excitedly ordered a pair of tiny Toms for each little boy.

Here we are in August 2016, and I learned long ago that buying anything more expensive than the $7 slip ons at Walmart are a waste of time and money. Those $30 Toms lasted about a month before their toes were peeking out the tops of those delicate canvas shoes. The $50 leather shoes lasted a little longer, but not long enough to justify shelling out $150 every few months.

first day of prek3
Just look at those unblemished shoes, spanking clean lunch boxes, white socks…

In August 2011, each child got a nice, fresh, new LL Bean backpack with their names embroidered on them.

They used those bags diligently for three years, and when they started first grade, I let them express their personality and pick out cheap character backpacks that barely made it through the year. For third grade, they picked out more grown up bags – no characters, puh-leeze! But I still doubt they’ll last much beyond May.

In August 2011, I purchased a set of reusable plastic divided lunch containers and three different colored insulated lunch boxes to put them in. I excitedly purchased bento supplies on Amazon, because I couldn’t wait to craft their little fun lunches that they would eat with tiny plastic forks. Bento box lunches were all the rage in 2010, and I totally fell for that Pinterest trap. But all of the food was coming back at the end of the day, untouched. And after spending so much time lovingly crafting them! (Not really, I don’t think I made it past rolling up a piece of ham and spearing it with said tiny fork.) So lunch soon morphed into Nutella sandwiches and pretzels.

Like the backpacks, characters were introduced to the lunch boxes after a few years, but victory is mine! Because now the boys eat sandwiches with actual protein in them and not spreadable candy!

In August 2011, their uniforms were clean and new. Of course they were, it was their first year of school. But the boys will be starting this school year with some new shirts (for the first time in two years), plus a collection of buttonless, holey shirts that still have some life in them, even though there might be an ink splat or two. The knees of their pants don’t have holes, but only because I buy the kind with reinforced knees.

Right before school started in August 2011, I took the boys for fresh haircuts. This year, their hair is freshly dyed in bright colors.

In August 2011, I was excited and thrilled to get their school supply list. So fun! Let’s just say, I’m over it now. It’s not fun anymore.

The boys have learned a lot in the past five years, and not just another entire language. But so have I. And it’s not to sweat the small stuff.

Pam Kocke
My name is Pam, and I live in Algiers Point with my husband George and my identical triplets Linus, Oliver, and Miles. I work from home as a Happiness Engineer for Automattic. I enjoy reading and photography and sewing (and blogging!)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here