Does anyone remember the Staples back-to-school commercial from a few years ago, with the dad dancing through the aisles on a shopping cart while his kids trudged behind him like they were being marched off to prison, and “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” played in the background? I love that commercial!

And, I love this time of year. I know, it’s weird. But, I have always loved back-to-school time. Long before I was a teacher, I loved back-to-school shopping. There were new clothes, new routines, and best of all, new school supplies! I adore the smell of crayons, Elmer’s glue, and the plastic scent that wafts into your nose when you open a new binder. Or, in my case, a new Trapper Keeper. Mmmmmm… (Yes, I know I’m a high school teacher and there are no crayons or glue in a British literature class. I’m hoping to change that when I return to the classroom. More on that later.)

When I was in college, I worked 4 years in a school supply store for the best bosses anyone could ever ask for. ( What a perfect job for me, and I promise you that if Sam and Teresa had a store in Birmingham, I would go back to work for them before you could say tempera paint. I’m such a dork that I would actually get excited when new shipments would come in and I would have to open the boxes and check in the merchandise, because that meant I got the first look at all the cool new classroom stuff!

Once I started teaching, back-to-school time meant new students and again, new school supplies! I’m not going to lie; I am a little sad that I’m not teaching this year. But, Madeline and Baby ____ need me at home this year and this is where I want to be for now. I also don’t need to settle for a school where I’m unhappy, just to have a teaching job. So, I’m hoping that God opens up a door to a reading specialist/literacy coaching position next year. We’ll see. In the mean time, I’ll keep walking by pencil boxes and notepads in Target and thinking, “I need this!”

Back-to-school time means the door is open for fall to begin. There will be football games, and football weather. It will be time for little hands to make construction paper pumpkins, while high school art classes carve jack-o-lanterns for fall festivals. Text books will crackle as they are opened for the first time, and bonfires will crackle in celebration of homecoming events everywhere.

It will be a couple of years before we have to shop from a school supply list for Madeline, but I’m looking forward to it. Because I love the smell of crayons, Elmer’s glue, and the plastic smell of new binders.

And those scented markers that don’t really  smell like bananas.

And pencil shavings.

And rubber erasers.

And Crayola watercolor paints.

And dry erase markers…