The last day of school is Thursday for my older kid and Friday for my younger, and we are not going gentle into that good night. 

August seems like another lifetime ago, when I had new packs of socks and underwear and spiffy new shoes for my younger one (the older one wore Chuck Taylors from the thrift store). My younger kid had new uniform polos and skirts, a couple of gray school uniform hoodies for when the weather was chilly, and brand-new PE clothes; my older one had a bizarre but carefully curated collection of thrifted clothes approximately 18 sizes too big for her, all washed and organized and folded, along with a school logo hoodie and more brand-new PE clothes. 

Their folders were crisp with their names at the top corner in neatly printed Sharpie, color-coded by subject. They had new backpacks and lunchboxes (the younger kid’s even matched!) and water bottles with name labels. 

Now we have three to four days left and … I’ve pretty much given up. 

My kids both technically have PE clothes, but I’m not 100 percent sure they are the ones they were originally issued. Georgia has lost both hoodies and stained her two white polos beyond redemption. (Why do they even make white school shirts for kids???) I hot-glued the bottom of her shoe back on this weekend because I am not buying new school shoes with one week left. Their folders are torn and crumpled, patched with duct tape. School papers, not sorted by subject or any other discernible category, are wadded up in the bottom of their backpacks and/or on the floor of my car. Georgia is already on her second or third backpack of the year, and we all just use whatever lunchbox is handy at this point. My older kid has a system that only she understands as to what clothes in her vast wardrobe carpet are clean (seriously, it is shin-deep in her room, no matter how many different clothing organizational systems I try to buy and implement). We probably could’ve bought a used car (or at least a decent bike) with the amount of money I spent on replacing water bottles this year, and that’s buying the cheapest ones. 

But even if we aren’t as well-put-together as we were at the start of the school year, we did it! We made it through another school year and are still standing in May, older and wiser. 

Duct-taped shoes and all, we have crossed another finish line. And that’s a victory worth celebrating! 

Happy (almost) summer, y’all.