small things #32 ... backpacks
Four kids, four backpacks.
Aaron totes his sky blue Jansport pack. He lets it slouch off his shoulders a bit - looking cool. Earlier he filled it with library books, his lunch bag and a black plastic recorder that has taken up residence in his bag. Most likely I would also find granola bar wrappers, a broken pencil or two and an important note from his school wadded up in the bottom. If I cared to peek.
His buddy walks beside him, our neighbor boy and surrogate brother. He pulls his weighty, navy blue backpack along behind him. The wheels roll along the rocks and asphalt - rattle, rattle, rattle, sliiiiiiide - when the bag catches up with him, he flicks it back a few feet - rattle, rattle, rattle, sliiiiiide. They talk and laugh over the noise of the rocking and rolling.
Norah moans next to me about the weight of her bag. I have refused to carry it today saying, "I'm already pushing the stroller and kids. You can carry the bag. What do you have in there anyway?" She rattles off a list of must-haves: reading folder, homework folder, two library books, lunch bag and two water bottles. I remind her that she could dump out the water and fill them up at school and she responds with a huff and runs off. That's easier, I guess.
Ashley chats as she saunters along with her messenger bag slung over her shoulder. As a Kindergartener, she doesn't have all the homework (or weight of the world) to carry. She steps lightly around a puddle and jogs in an effort to catch Norah. She slows and lets me catch up, "Mommy? Can you bring my scooter up after school?"
Four backpacks carried by four kids.
No. Make that five kids and five backpacks.
Today Lydia has decided to be big and pack her pink and white polka-dotted bag for our trek to school. As she trots along, her backpack bounces off of her pj'ed little hiney. And from within that terry cloth pack we can hear a little jingle, jangle, rattle.
"Whatcha got in there, Liddy?"
A quick peek at the crosswalk reveals that she, too, has packed her essentials: a half-dozen Easter egg maracas and her baby-pink leather slippers. Perfect.
Backpacks ... bags of burden, but also a badge of being BIG.