The Bigger Picture of School Supplies

Every year at this time my daughter asks me the same question, “Mom when are we going shopping for school supplies”.

Sometimes this question spins around and around in my head like a broken record that is stuck on a song you just can’t stand! She can be demanding about it and always manages to ask at the most inopportune times; when we may be low on money or at a time when it’s simply inconvenient to shop because we have other pressing obligations to attend to first.

When I was in nursing school I had an instructor that told me I tend to be task oriented and sometimes forget to look at the bigger picture. I never forgot that instructor or what she said because it applies to all aspects of life. When I see myself doing that at work with a patient,  I am usually able to catch myself and refocus quickly. As I tend to the tasks of my own life with two teenagers all over the place, a full time job, a household to run, and the things that I am involved in outside of work, I am so focused on completing the tasks I fail to realize what the people in my life truly need from me.

My daughter is my extroverted child. From an early age she’s demonstrated her ability to think outside of the box. It’s my favorite thing about her. She challenges herself with complicated tasks. She enjoys trying new things and experiencing different types of people. She and my husband appreciate sampling cuisine  that our son and I refuse to eat. She looks into the future instead of dwelling upon the past.

While most kids frown at the back to school commercials and the idea of returning to school, she embraces it. At the end of each summer she looks forward to the school year, her friends and her routine. All week she’s been comparing her eighth grade school schedule to that of her friends, taking mental note of who’ll be in her classes this year, her final year of middle school.

This morning as I sipped my coffee and explored the possibilities of today, the paintbrush moved swiftly and in bright colors boldly painted the bigger picture before my eyes. For my daughter, the act of buying school supplies is something she needs. For her it signifies a new beginning, a fresh start with interesting things to learn, exciting experiences to be had and time spent having fun with friends. It energizes her with hope and anticipation.

We don’t have any pressing obligations today as a family. There are so many things I want to do. I hope I can get to all of them before I head upstairs for the night with my dog and my nook. One thing is certain, we will definitely be buying school supplies.

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