Wednesday, 7 August 2013
As a kid growing up in Canada, I remember using a plastic bin to keep all my stuff organized at my desk. Mine was purple and it had my name written on it in black marker. For some reason we never actually kept anything in our desks - it all had to fit in our bin instead. At the end of the day, we had to stash our stuff in the bin and put it up on our chair before heading home. A daily ritual I hadn't thought much about over the last 20 years or so.
One aspect of having my own daughter in school is digging up long lost memories of school and seeing how her experience differs from mine. For Abner, there are no purple plastic bins. In her school (and elsewhere in New Zealand if I'm not mistaken) kids use chair bags and book bags. They're quite clever things really...chair bags hang over the back of your chair and have a couple of big pockets to stash things in as well as a plastic sleeve for a name tag. Book bags are like big fabric envelopes that the kids are meant to keep their workbooks in. Unlike chair bags, book bags come home at the end of each day stuffed with worksheets, notices, books and half-completed projects.
Even though we bought a set of bags from Abner's school when she started in May, those poor things didn't last past her first term. I don't know whether she was sitting there gnawing on them every day, or what, but her chair bag was literally falling to shreds. Abner's teacher remembers a time when parents didn't have the option to buy the bags from the school. When her kids were little, they were simply given a pattern and sent off on their merry way to make their own - sewing skills or not. Can you imagine what some kids must have brought with them on day one?
I used the recent term break to bring Abner's falling apart bags home and make some new ones from scratch - no pattern required. The fabrics were all pulled from my stash so at least I don't really feel like I've had to pay twice for a set of bags. These ones are turbo-industrial-super-duper-never-fall-apart-until-the-end-of-time sturdy and should last a good while...at least until next year.