I have to say, I don’t get the backpack phenomenon. I don’t think I had anything to carry my books in until I was in at least grade 7. Today however, kids carry everything but the kitchen sink in the silly things. Books, water bottles, lunch, gym strip, various treasures collected throughout the day… They are catchalls for every thing that comes your kids way.

There is an entire industry that has cropped up around the backpack. Outside of the oh so important first day of school outfit which nowadays includes an Imprint to make it more unique, the backpack is the next most important item on the kids must have for school list. On day one they proudly strap them on and head to school so they can load them up with all the lernin materials that are sure to come.

Now jump ahead to April and the dog days of school. The excitement of the first day of school is ancient history and the kids have summer on their minds. Thier spiffy new clothes are faded and hole ridden and the fancy backpack is worn like an anchor, weiging heavy on their young souls

It was in this setting that I had the rare opportunity to pick up my girls from school the other day. As the kids flooded from the hallowed halls of academia and into the spring sunshine, I couldn’t help but notice how those prized backpacks were being discarded to the ground like yesterday’s dirty socks. What was even more interesting was how dutifully all the parents who were patiently waiting for their precious progeny, picked (I love Alliteration) up those backpacks and carried them home for their children.

Of course my two little darlings tried the same thing but there was not a chance, I was going to carry their once prized possessions back home. My eldest daughter tried the old  “but it is so heavy because it is filled with homework!”

My response… “Then don’t get any homework!”

Of course there were a couple moans and groans but they both understood that the pack was their responsibility not mine so they picked them up, threw them over their shoulders and walked home. I was happy, the kids didn’t really care and we had a great walk home.

What is so amazing to me, is how willing today’s parents are to take on the little responsibilities in life that can easily be handled by their children. What seems to be lost on some is how these little responsibilities grow along with their children. If they have never been expected to handle the little responsibilities along the way they haven’t a hope of dealing with the big ones that are sure to come.

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