I have four children. In the last two weeks I received three letters in the mail from 3 of their teachers welcoming them back to school and including a list of supplies that the teacher wanted them to bring for the first day of school.
The list included the obvious such as pencils, more luxurious things such as clipboards and sharpies and highlighters and more 'School responsibility' items such as Elmer's glue, crayons, etc. There were also some wishlist items like baby wipes and Kleenex.
My 4th grade son's teacher didn't send a list. I figured she'd hand it out on the first day and I didn't worry too much about it.
Until this morning - the first day - when we walked to the bus stop beside my neighbor - who is also in 4th grade, and who, was LADEN with about 50 pounds of supplies.
"We didn't get a list." I said. (The boys have different teachers.)
"Did you check the teacher's web page?" the other mother asked me.
*GULP* I hadn't.
I turned to my son, "We'll get everything when you get home." (It was a half day.) He nodded.
I put them on the bus and went back to my office.
But something wasn't right.
I couldn't help but think that he would be nervous about NOT having his supplies. What if they were labeling them? What if he NEEDED them?
I went to the website. There was the list.
I scolded myself. "You DO NOT need to run out and get everything on the list." I said. "Its the first day. It's a HALF day for goodness SAKE! DO NOT BE CRAZY. Do not be ANAL. You can get it later. He'll probably WANT to pick everything out anyway!"
I printed the list. I asked my husband to run to the store and buy everything and drop it off.
Later, when my son got home I asked him, "Did you get everything all right?"
He nodded. "Yep!" he said. "Y'know," he added, "I was feeling a little nervous here," he pointed to his chest. "And NORMALLY when I get called down to the office I get REALLY nervous. But I was feeling a little nervous and then the office called me down and I felt great because as soon as they called me I knew what it was. I knew you'd get everything for me."
And those few little words have set my OCD therapy back YEARS.