Editor's Note: Cool morning, shopping frenzy – time to go back to school

It seems just last week we were planning our schedule of summer activities, and now it’s already done.

Genoa, Indian Creek, Hinckley and Hiawatha schools started last week; Sycamore schools start today. DeKalb students go back to school next week.

In our house, that has meant a flurry of activity – rearranging day care to accommodate just one child instead of two; trying on last spring’s pants only to find they are all too short; realizing (with guilt or glee, depending on whether you’re the parent or the child) that June’s lofty goal of daily reading and worksheet practice was abandoned back in – well, June.

There was the inevitable back-to-school shopping, which hurt our bank account a little less this year than last year, mostly because last year we had the sense to pony up the money for a rugged backpack meant to last. We skipped right past the back-to-school selection with their brightly-colored superhero motifs and picked a neutral-looking bag designed to withstand college-student abuse from the back-to-college department.

My 8-year-old still thinks he should have a new backpack for the new school year – one covered with bizarre spikes, no less – but last year’s bag, bless it, is holding up beautifully.

We also went through the house before going shopping. Scissors? Surely we have an extra pair of scissors. Check. Ditto on markers and highlighters. Pencils? Well, the school supply list calls for 48 pencils. That one had to go on the shopping list.

(Forty-eight seems a bit excessive, I must admit. Do third graders really go through 48 pencils in a year? Erasers, maybe, but pencils, I’m a little skeptical.)

There is also the rearranging of calendars to be done, as swimming lessons drop from twice to once a week and the Cub Scout pack starts meeting again.

The weather has been oddly cooperative; it’s always hard to get into a back-to-school frame of mind when you’re sweating away in shorts and flip-flops. This year’s August has already felt more like September, with misty mornings just right for standing at a bus stop.

As you make your morning commute, please remember to watch out for those buses, and for children running, biking, walking, skateboarding or otherwise traveling to get to and from school.

Fall is on the horizon, so start planning your tailgates and bonfires, and enjoy your MidWeek.

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