The other day, it came.
The letter which says, "Hellooooo, I am Dean, and school is starting again!".
I'm not so far gone that I can't remember the days of parents opening that letter. From the table you'd hear some exclamation (or expletive), followed by, "Tempera paints, again???". Then it was off to the store to stock up on: purple gym shorts, Crayolas, wide-ruled lined paper, 8 different colored folders, protractors, compasses, safety scissors, oil cloth, glue you can't sniff and die, smock, mandatory box of Kleenex as a donation to the classroom, 200-pencil pack and Lisa Frank erasers that look like Unicorns.
Nowadays "school supplies" are pretty limited to a 200-red pen pack and maybe some Excedrin. It's less about the stuff and more about the mental preparation. That's why we get the letter way ahead of time, so we can emotionally and intellectually buck up.
There's also going to be this:
We're back to school in three weeks!