I don’t know about you, but for me the digital revolution isn’t moving quickly enough. The first time I saw my little Kim staggering home from school with a ridiculous number of books stuffed into her backpack, like an ant carrying fifty times its weight in picnic goods, I couldn’t believe it! I was all for a strict curriculum, but I was concerned Kimmy might be crushed under the weight of her books before mastering her multiplication tables.
Then, after some strength training and motivational speeches from me – you should be picturing the training montage from Rocky right now, except instead of Burgess Meredith there’s me and instead of Kimmy punching cuts of meat she’s doing squat-thrusts with a full backpack – we suffered a setback. After all that bonding with her backpack (I’d made her name it, like the Marines and their rifles in Full Metal Jacket; she named it Sparkle Motion) the school had implemented a new policy requiring clear backpacks for security purposes. Some of the older kids had been caught with various contraband over the course of the previous year, and they were tightening security.
At first I was put out: What was next, forcing us to give Kim circus training so she could balance the books on top of her head? But, after some research, I got on board with the idea.
First of all, there are some super-cute clear bags out there. The Clear Bag Store sells a large pink backpack that is almost as big as Kimmy, which means it’s ideal for strapping it to her like a turtle shell and sending her staggering off to school every morning, and she goes through the security checkpoint easily while looking adorable. Kimmy loved it immediately, putting princess stickers all over it and, still in Training Mode, naming it Peggy, a name whose provenance remains a mystery. But then I’m used to mysteries when it comes to the imagination of my daughter.
Secondly, and I never thought about this, but a clear bag makes it incredibly easy to find the things you’re looking for. I recall once thinking that Kim had lost her cell phone, given to her in case a man wearing a clown suit rolled up in a van with no windows and offered her candy. She swore she’d checked her old bag, and we spent hours going over her route home from school and searching the house. I went back to the bag as a last-ditch effort and just dumped it out on the floor, and found her phone – it had been under her gym uniform, which had discouraged deep investigation. With a clear backpack I’d be able to see everything immediately, without fuss.
Today, Kimmy loves her clear bag – excuse me, Peggy. She gets in and out of school without a problem, I can tell at a glance if she’s packed all her books and her lunch, and Kim looks cool turtling her way to class every day.