Back To School In The Empty Nest

A little girl standing by her desk in a classroom, a boy posed with a school bus in the background, brothers and sisters sporting their brand-new school uniforms.  Social media is all abuzz with back to school images and it has me reminiscing about my now grown children’s school years. Has it really been that long since I went back-to-school shopping with them?

It started about a month ago on a trip to Target.  The section of the store that once housed water toys and patio furniture was now full of school supplies — backpacks, notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, crayons and everything else a student would need.  Ahhh, good ole school days!  I used to enjoy getting my two ready for school, except for covering their textbooks.  That was not my favorite task.

The store was also well-stocked with dorm room necessities — bedding sized for dorm beds, pillows, desk lamps and plastic furniture.  I got a tiny lump in my throat remembering all the trips to Target and Publix the six years my son and daughter were in college.  Every time we went to see them in Alabama included a visit to both stores, you know, for just a few items.

Our local grocery store even got into the act.  It was fitting that they offered school supplies BOGO (buy one get one free) right before school started.  I added an assortment to my shopping cart for old time’s sake; a donation to one of the local organizations collecting supplies for students in need.  I’ll admit it, I bought some pens for myself.

Back to school shopping is different when you live in an empty nest.  It has been a while but I had a lot of experience, about eighteen year’s worth.  There is much more to getting ready for the school year than buying school supplies though.  Here are a few tips:

Six Back-to-School Tips From an Empty Nest Mom

  • Be Prepared — Things go much smoother, especially in rushed mornings, if you are prepared.
  • Push Yourself — Take the more challenging classes. Don’t settle for just getting by.
  • Do Your Best —  It’s ok if you don’t make straight A’s if you have honestly tried your very best.  Everyone has subjects they are strong or weak in.  Give your best effort.
  • Be Kind — My daughter was really good about befriending the new kids in the class.  I really liked that about her.
  • Be Respectful — Have a good attitude and be respectful of your teachers.  As a former teacher, I can tell you it will help you out in the long run.
  • Get Involved — Play a sport, join the band or chorus, volunteer.  The more involved my children were in school, the better their grades were.
  • Don’t Forget God — Pray about everything, even the 2nd Grade spelling tests and multiplication speed drills.  On days they had a test, I used to pray with my children that they would be able to call to mind all they had studied.

My daughter is finishing her graduate work for her Master’s Degree this semester.  Her brother has his Masters in Finance which he earned in 2013.  Unless they decide to get their doctorate, I can say this is the official end of my back to school days! 

Have a blessed school year!

Back To School

6 thoughts on “Back To School In The Empty Nest

  1. Ah…I remember the “back to school” shopping days fondly too. I was just talking about that with my young adult son yesterday as we passed the Staples where we used to buy all the supplies on the school’s list. Then, that reminded me of the “supplies” I bought my daughter in Bed Bath and Beyond every fall before a year of college began. (My son went to college locally, so no need for that). This month, my daughter moved to a new apartment in California. Instead of having the opportunity to shop for supplies with her, I sent her a check to cover the amount she needed to buy them herself. What a transition.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So nice to reminisce about the old school days! I was more involved in our son’s activities than he cared for I’m sure. He was in the band, as was I in school, so I couldn’t resist going to every game, every competition, and every concert. Now I’m waiting for grand-kids. Yep…still waiting!


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