It’s been back-to-school time almost since school let out a few months ago, and no doubt, you’ve been inundated with tips on how to make the transition from summer break to the school year go more smoothly. (Guilty as charged.)
But if we met in line at Starbucks or along a soccer field sideline, I’d add a few back-to-school advice that no one else will give you:
- Save that empty shoebox. Also, a few empty toilet paper rolls, some old socks and a coffee can. Because sometime in November — right before you start cooking for Thanksgiving — your kid’s teacher will send you on a treasure hunt to find these things for the “Tribute to Native Americans” diorama they’re making at school.
- Don’t clean out your car until June. As soon as you do, someone will need that crumpled piece of paper with mysterious numbers and letters on it (a.k.a. “My algebra homework!”), that filthy little toy R2D2 (a.k.a. “My flash drive with my Boy Scout project on it!”), and that ratty plastic thingy that smells like sweat and despair (a.k.a. “My lucky shin guard!”).
- You didn’t buy enough pens. You’ll see.
- Pick Springsteen. A few years ago, I had Bruce Springsteen tickets the same night as Back-to-School Night. I remember feeling guilty for picking Bruce over class mom announcements. I can’t tell you what I missed at school, but I can tell you that Bruce played the entire “Born in the USA” album at his last concert in the old Giants Stadium, and it was awesome.
- Don’t plan anything with friends until after Halloween. You think you’ll have “all this time” with the kids back in school, but you will blink and suddenly, you’re digging through the sale bins at Staples, wondering if your son would mind a purple Book Sox because it’s either that or Hello Kitty at that point of the year.