Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Fifteen Days

Benefit to early morning walks? Beautiful sunrises. 
I had a moment of panic this morning. Returning from a morning walk with Rosie, I was talking to Chris before he left for work. We were talking about when school would begin and I replied teachers go back the 17th, students the 19th. He made the comment about how early that seemed and left for work.

I glanced at my calendar and my stomach felt queasy. The 17th was two weeks from yesterday, the 19th two weeks from tomorrow.

How does this happen? Every year the start of the school year sneaks up on my, and yet every year I feel surprised. One would think I would begin to expect this phenomenon, but no. Here I am, beginning my sixteenth year in my district, twentieth in teaching, and I’m in the same place.

Summer always comes exactly when I need it. I am, of course, sad to see my students go, but I know it is time. They are ready to spread their wings. I am in desperate need of some sleep and time with my own family. My mind can focus on putting my own family first. I have visions of relaxing mornings, cleaning sprees at my house, days spent reading and writing.

Some of that happens, much of it remains a fantasy.

In truth, my schedule is crazier in the summer than during the school year. Two boys in sports makes my head spin. Family trips, professional conferences, games, practices, tournaments – my mind whirls. And yet, it is easier. I am fully present, not having to juggle the demands of school and home. It is awesome.

At the end of July, I felt the urge. I began to write lesson plans. I headed in for a few hours to get my classroom set up. I organized all of the books I had read over the summer, added them to my data base, and bagged them up to bring in. It was getting closer, I could feel it.

It was how close it truly was that threw me today. This week hasn’t gone as planned. My van broke, again, this weekend. I love my Silver Streak, but am not fond of three – now four – different repairs in one summer. Either is my checkbook. So, no trip to Target on Sunday. No errands ran, no classroom library organized. I feel behind, and that is not a feeling I enjoy.

So, I do what I know needs to be done. Lists created. Trips by bicycle to the Post Office to mail the letters to last year’s group, wishing them well as they head on to middle school. Visits to school to dip my toe back into the water, feel the excitement flood through me, know that it is almost time.

Next week I will see my class lists. Know what group of kids I am spending the next ten months with. Know who is part of my new school family. It is then that it will seem real.

Fifteen days. Fifteen days until I stand in front of a room full of students and feel that rush that comes from the start of a school year. The rush that is full of possibility, the rush that reminds me that anything is possible. Fifteen days. I am ready, and yet, I am not. I have fifteen days to spend with Luke and Liam. To say yes to days spent at the pool, time with friends, and yes, time spent organizing. Fifteen days. It is almost here.