Monday, August 11, 2014

Second-Grade Supplies

My child is going to be in second grade. He doesn't need a Ninja Turtles backpack.

I would tell you this is not going to be a mushy parenting post about growing up, but you and I both know that would be a lie. Look away if you don't want to hear a coming-of-age story about a kid who just turned seven, and I promise those who keep reading that I'll keep it light. Deal?

School starts one week from today, and Nathan will be in the upper echelons of his primary school. A top dog, if you will. Sure, the third-graders will still be the holders of seniority, but those kindergarten babies will look no different than his three-year-old brother. Because the bell will soon ring, we took a trip to Target for one of my favorite days of the year. I get downright giddy about this day. I know some of you feel the same way about pointy, fresh crayons and the smell of cap erasers, but some may not. C'est la vie. Luckily, my kid is into it. He and his Daddy took one side of the school section, I took the other, and we met at the backpacks. I took him to the small ones first, and pointed out an R2D2 bag that lights up and beeps, an Angry Birds bag, and one featuring Lightning McQueen. He denied all three. I even tried a Skylanders one, despite the fact that I don't know what that means. Nothing doing. At that point, I asked him to just find one himself.

Then he pulled one from the hook, slipped it onto his small shoulders, and gave the thumbs up. It was the same size as the others, but no cartoons or licensed characters. Just black and blue camo and skulls.

Granted, I did think it was a cool backpack, but Jonathan smirked when I tried to push the sweet R2D2 bag again. "Nathan, tell her you're a second-grader now and you know what you like."

Let me clarify what bothered me here. I don't care what's on the kid's backpack as long as it's appropriate, it's the idea. It's the idea that I just loaded his tiny puppy backpack with his nap mat and a box of baby wipes and sent him off to preschool. It's the idea that he's realizing he's too old for certain things and he's developing his own preferences. I enjoy this kid so much and I'm thankful the three of us had this day to ourselves. We filled our cart with the supplies he chose, we bought him a fresh pair of kicks {in a size larger, of course}, and we shared polite dinner conversation with our child-person. I loved the one-on-one time, but it was undeniable proof that Baby Bauer #1 is actually doing this growing up thing.

I push him to take care of himself and be more independent. I push him to grow and develop and learn and change. I push him to embrace what he likes and be proud of it. Funny how I grasp at straws when he goes for it. And people. PEOPLE. This is just the second grade. I'm in for a whirlwind over the next decade, aren't I? All I have to say about that is thank goodness for little siblings. I have a tiny puppy backpack tucked away in the boys' closet that will fit Owen just fine when he walks into preschool next year. NEXT YEAR?!

Oh, heavens.

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Unknown said...

We have a no character back back this year too. Second grade must be were all the growing up starts.

Jessica Bauer said...

Man, it's rough, isn't it, Alicia?? :) I can't wait to see what the year has in store for our sweet second-graders. Looking forward to seeing you soon for our road trip!