Summer ends this week, when both my kids pack their backpacks and I pack their lunches and they climb into the car for the mile drive first to the high school, then around the corner to the junior high.
It’s the time of year they dread yet prepare for with new clothes and supplies. When they mope and stomp but scour their schedules and burn up the phone lines and cyberspace comparing classes and teachers and schedules with their friends.
For my kids, the cost of the first day of school is the end of the wiles of summer.
For me, the true cost of education is:
High School registration and fees…$325.
Junior High yearbook…$20.
Pens, pencils, notebooks…$30.
Texas Instrument Calculator…$80.
Locker paraphernalia and decor…$20.
New sneakers, men’s size 13…$85.
New sneakers, girls size 4…$35.00
Money for lunch out with friends on the first half-day of seventh grade…$10.
Emergency money tucked into backpacks…$10.00
My kids out of the house and confined well-supervised and expertly-educated 6 1/2 hours per day, five days per week until June 2008…
Amy Sue Nathanís debut novel, The Glass Wives, will be published by St. Martinís Press in Spring 2013. In addition to The Imperfect Parent, Amyís stories and essays have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times online, The Washington Post online, The Huffington Post, Chicago Parent, Grey Sparrow Journal, Rose and Thorn Journal, Scribblers On The Roof, The Verb, Hospital Drive Journal and The Stone Hobo. She is also a freelance fiction editor, a reader for literary agents, and Secretary of the RWA-WF Chapter. In 2011 Amy launched Womenís Fiction Writers, a blog focusing on the authors, business and craft of traditionally published womenís fiction.
Amy lives near Chicago and is the mom of a son in college, a daughter in high school, and two rambunctious rescued dogs. You can follow her on Twitter @AmySueNathan where she tweets about writing, books, parenting, and chocolate.
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