Back to School

18 January 2019

Back to School

Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer holidays but by mid-January I can’t wait for the boys to go back to school. Every year it’s like a pilgrimage down to Albany Mega Centre for that essential back to school shopping.

I know the boys are ready for school when you hear the inevitable “I’m bored.” They’ve run out of summer fun ideas and it’s time to start thinking about the year ahead. This summer we had a particularly action-packed holiday so that bored moment seems to have come earlier than usual. I pack both boys in the car and we head down to the Mega Centre.

First stop is Warehouse Stationery for books, pens, rulers, erasers, sharpeners, pencil cases and everything else. I always like coming here. There’s a huge selection all in one place which means there’s always an answer to the boys’, “I want something cool,” request. Ollie, my youngest, needs a Chromebook and there’s a number to choose from. A young man talks us through the options while Ollie explains to him that, “Chromebooks are lame, I’d rather have an iMac.” The salesman’s seen it all before and professionally proceeds to help me work out the best value for money.

We head down to Hallensteins. It’s one of the few clothes shops we all agree on these days. Their range meets my need for quality, hardwearing and practical while also having a level of coolness that both Ollie and Josh can live with. Each boy grabs two t-shirts, a hoodie and a pair of shorts. Josh finds a pair of jeans which have a ripped, worn out and overly distressed look. I’m not sure they’re particularly suited for school but I know better than to argue with a teenager. Ollie, of course, wants a pair as well so we compromise with a camo-patterned jogger pants.

Since both boys were young they’ve always loved Look Sharp. I’m quietly thrilled when they ask if we can go. The place is full of fun and character and as soon as we walk in the boys are picking up wands, skulls, silly glasses and crazy wigs. Ollie heads down to the costumes while Josh moves towards the arts and crafts section. He’s really getting into his art which really pleases his graphic designer father. Josh puts together an interesting collection of paints, felts, glitter, feathers, beads and other things. I’m sure they’re the start of an amazing multi-media masterpiece so I agree to buy them. Ollie has found a Spiderman toy and is happy with that as his final purchase for the day.

A back to school afternoon with the boys has become a holiday ritual celebrating the transition from holiday to school year. Spending it at Albany Mega Centre makes, what could be a painful experience, into a fun day hanging out with the boys. Both Josh and Ollie seem energised. If I’m not mistaken, they’re looking forward to school starting! I know I am.

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