Back to school -- three little words that delight and at the same time take a few years off a poor parent's life expectancy. Back when my children were young, before they thought they had rights or could even conceive of a day that they would see me -- not as a larger-than-life beacon of authority and truth, but as an unenlightened, not-so-bright, general poster child for all that is wrong with the world -- I at least felt in control of the back-to-school process. This is because they needed me. I had a few critical proficiencies they hadn't yet mastered. I could read, a skill that came in mighty handy when it was time to complete the teacher's "Things you must bring to school lest arms start growing out of your ears and you are mercilessly mocked and ridiculed by your peers" list. I was wise, at least relatively speaking, wisdom born of having filled more than a few shopping carts with glue sticks and Hello Kitty folders. And, of course, I was the only one in th...
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