I went shopping for school supplies today, this time for someone else.
I haven't made a shopping trip like this in over twenty years now, since I graduated from college. My last trip was all about divided spirals, pens and blue books, at least as far as I remember. In my earlier years, the school district published an official list - pencils, loose leaf binder paper, dividers, compass, pens and more. (why didn't anyone sell these things pre-assembled at an extra markup?) My son's school did the same, but since he will be a kindergartner soon, the collection was modest. Some pencils, paper and markers. Kleenex for the classroom, glue and erasers all helped fill our shopping basket.
Suddenly, for me the memories came flooding back. Shopping with my Mom at Eckerd's for Big Chief tablets, the lined paper tables with perforated tops and double spaced lines for us to practice our cursive. Big Mo pencils - huge green ones about as big around as one of my fingers. Paste (remember that smell?), pink erasers, Tiny Tot staplers. The atrocious compass and protractor sets, the bane of geometers everywhere.
We'll repeat this process every year I expect, and every year the requirements will grow with his capabilities. I look forward to it, though I'm momentarily focused on the past and recollections of my own schooldays.