Can we bring back the 2019-20 school supply list, where the greatest debate was where to get reams of paper for cheap? While we're at it, let's go back to the late 80s and early 90s, where the most critical item was your Trapper Keeper to get to hold your Lisa Frank folders. My last few days of freedom were spent running around the mall with my friends, going in to Arcadia to get all the coolest overpriced pens and pencils direct from Japan and then grab some back-to-school clothes at Au Coton or Benetton. I can see the pastel colors now.
Instead of masks, my mom bought my cherished Chandler's assignment notebook, which I decorated obsessively all month long. I collected and traded scratch-and-sniff stickers and filled in the rest of the pages with funny magazine cut-outs from YM. I remember one year, must have been a lean one for the Walsh family, I had to resort to cutting out and taping pictures of owls and other woodland animals from my bags of Sunkist Fun Fruits to decorate the cover of my Chandler's. I used garbage as decor, my earliest recycling efforts. But alas, it's not 1988. We're solidly in the dumpster fire that is 2020 and have to buy PPE for our kids if we decide to send them to school this year. Instead of scratch-and-sniff stickers, they will be smelling a whole lot of bleach. But my kids don't seem distressed about it, so I try to hide my unease and instead text other school moms to commiserate.
We still have a few weeks of summer left to enjoy. If I'm smart, I'll spend it milking some last sun-filled fun with the family rather than worrying about second grade social distancing. I hope you can, too. Just think: this will all make a heck of a story someday.