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Back to School, Through the Ages

It’s back-to-school season and the shop is filled with the cute sweet accoutrements of the season: backpacks, lunch bags, pencil cases, and of course tons of options for new school clothes. I love the annual pep talks I offer moms facing their kids starting kindergarten: they are more ready for this than you are, and yes the years start going by faster from here but who they’re becoming next is so beautiful to watch.

Ruby began her sophomore year at Tech today. Back-to-school looked very different this year than it used to in elementary school. This will be her first year in more challenging classes toward college preparedness, so she was assigned summer homework packets to ensure she was up-to-speed. Of course it would’ve been smarter to tackle the 14-page algebra packet a little at a time over the entire summer break. But when I texted her last week, “Hey what’s plan for homework packet?” her reply was “Plan is to cry until it does itself.” So that’s pretty much what she did, except substitute “until mom forces me to do it, and then cry some more.”

Cal freshman move-in starts today too. My church is across the street from the dorms called Unit 3 where my mom and sister helped me move in more than half a life ago. Every year my church offers help and support to all those overwhelmed and confused parents with 18 year old kids that look so very young to me, yet just a few years ahead of Ruby. But for my own memory of that day, I was so ready and I knew everything I needed to know—ha ha! I can only imagine how my mom was feeling that day, maybe not unlike mom’s first-day-of-kindergarten feelings so many of us have already seen ourselves through. And so it goes, we think we know and yet there is always more to become, for both kids and parents. 

Mae Unit 3 Dorm.jpg

5026 Telegraph Avenue at 51st Street / Oakland California 94609 / (510) 595-5325 / / Tue-Fri 11-7, Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5. Closed Mondays.
Closed Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day to New Year’s Day.