Shopping for School Clothes Was Demanding

A mother of five remembers the financial challenges of school clothes shopping.
Heart of the Home
September/October 2013
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While they are certainly not the main reason for the season, everyone enjoys seeing beautifully wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree.
Photo By Fotolia/Mariusz Blach

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Autumn means stepping out of the warm, flip-flop-wearing, carefree months of summer. Its cooler temperatures encourage long sweaters and jeans rather than shorts and tank tops.

Several years back, I was met with a genuine, demanding chore. It glared its “ha-ha-here-I-am” attitude in my direction, and there I was, stuck in autumn facing a financial instead of laborious chore.

We raised five children. The parenting process was an ongoing state of happy chaos, medical essentials, sibling disagreements, attention-getting dramas, the complete growing-up adventure.

Then in walked autumn, and with it came the need for school clothes shopping so the kids would have outfits for school. This was a time-consuming and costly, yet predictable, task.

Christmas lay but three months away. To be prepared for the holiday with its gift-giving tradition, a layaway plan was essential. If I didn’t set gifts aside, making payments a little at a time, Christmas gifts would not make it to our house.

The charm with which I met that chore was challenging, but I championed this chief choice with considerable character. I now cherish that autumn’s chore with fond memories and a chuckle.

Beaver Dams, New York

Read more stories about autumn chores in Autumn Farm Work: The Best and Worst Chores

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