There’s A Reason Parents Miss Back-To-School Shopping

Late August should be a time of melancholy for the waning days of summer, mixed with excitement for the new and unknown. Kids fret over which outfit will best express their new selves. Teachers write names on cubbies, hang posters, and prepare lessons. Parents brace for the day when they send their kids off on the bus, free, finally, from having to organize what their children do every minute of every hour. These small, seemingly invisible rituals mark meaning and time. Adults vividly recall their own back-to-school shopping trips, the smell of new notebooks and fresh pencils, the cachet of a nontattered backpack. These traditions regain importance when we have kids. For a short time, we are architects of our children’s memories, and rituals are our signposts: “This moment matters.” This year, of course, looks nothing like most years. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic means many schools will not open for in-person learning. For millions of families, there will be no familiar demarcation, no moment when the kids leave, entrusted to the care of others for much of the day. Read more at The Atlantic.