EVANS: Even if the kids don’t share your enthusiasm, keep being enthusiastic about learning

Published 10:33 am Wednesday, August 26, 2020

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This time of year is filled with crayons, markers, backpacks, paper and lunch bags.

Every store and shopping center is geared up in full swing with aisles and bins filled to the brim with school supplies.

To me, this time of year truly is magical.

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When I was a kid, this was my favorite season.

I can remember my mom would take us school supplies shopping and I would carefully pick and choose every folder, every eraser and every pack of pens.

Elated by all of my wonderful purchases, I would go home and organize every single item.

My sister would frequently laugh because I literally sniffed the backpacks. Something about that wonderful odor of fresh crayons and plastic backpacks still fills me with excitement and wonder.

Something about this time of year brings me back to the joys of entering a new classroom equipped and ready to learn, grow and excel.

These feelings of awe and excitement still continue today.

Even as an adult, when stores start putting out fresh school supplies, I find myself carefully perusing the aisles in search of a new treasure.

As a homeschool parent, I am constantly gathering and hoarding supplies. Like a squirrel preparing for winter, I scavenge and tuck away work books, new crayons and paper protectors just knowing that we will need them. This year is no different.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for paper and pens was not genetic, and my children do not share in my excitement over such ridiculous things.

Recently, I selected small caddies to fill with each child’s specific items. I carefully chose two different colors and thought to myself how much they would love them.

I came home and filled each caddy, with a carefully selected pencil bag, glues, dry erase markers and fun scissors.

Content that each caddy was unique enough while still containing the exact same types of things, I convince my children to join me in the classroom, even though it is still summer break.

We stand there. Me, with a huge smile on my face, waiting for them to scream or show some sort of emotion.

Much to my dismay, they just look at me.

My 5 year old says, “I would rather have the black one,” and my 7 year old, who clearly is not thrilled simply says, “OK.” Really?

That same week, I bought two small bins and carefully placed a sticker with each child’s name on the outside. I meticulously sorted several work books and flash card sets, along with a few other items and placed them in the correct bin.

Incredibly pleased with myself, I invited my husband and children into the classroom. Despite that school is still out, they reluctantly joined me.

You would think that someone who loves school as much as I do probably married someone who was equally enthralled by the thoughts of a classroom. Ha. My children and my husband have much in common.

Flash back to the previous day. We stand there. Me, with a huge smile on my face, waiting for them to scream or show some sort of emotion. The three of them simply say, “OK.”

To all of you parents, caregivers and teachers who are just like me, hang in there.

Keep going strong and keep being excited about school supplies.

While right now my kids and probably yours, don’t seem thrilled with the thoughts of new pencils and fresh crayons, maybe one day they will look back and thoughtfully remember how hard mom worked to make their classroom memorable.

So, despite my kids’ and my husband’s lack of enthusiasm, I will continue to smell the backpacks, hoard the crayons and excitedly proclaim over all of my wonderful treasures.