Hey, did I tell you that it wasn’t the end of school supply shopping after all? My Middle, all 6’4" of him, heard me wondering why there wasn’t a Staples employee whose job it is to tap agitated mothers on their shoulders and inform them that since this is, in fact, the last time they will ever go school supply shopping with their children, perhaps their time would be better spent noticing the moment rather than complaining about the service.
And what did my Middle do when he heard this? Did he scoff? Did he shake is head? Did he bury his nose in his laptop? No he did not.
He took me school supply shopping.
Though he is still at the stage where his license is new enough that he gets behind the wheel at every opportunity, he gently insisted that I drive on our excursion. We went to Staples, where he picked up a couple of notebooks and a jazzy zippered thingamajob for handouts. For the first time, he turned down all my offers of expensive pens and mechanical pencils that we both knew would get lost in the depths of his backpack the first week of school. It was abundantly clear to both of us that he was there for me, to give me a gift, something I couldn’t buy for myself if my life depended on it.
Now I know why they call it sweet sixteen.