Those were carefree days. The only rush in my life was the water, and I had no problem letting go and allowing myself to be swept along with the current, grinning ear to ear as I enjoyed the ride. I was almost 20 years old, traveling from job to job, hanging out with friends, and wasn't concerned about what tomorrow would bring, as I knew whatever happened, I would be fine.
|My thoughts exactly in August, 1970|
Where did those lazy, hazy, crazy days go?
Well, I guess the short answer is that I eventually grew up, settled down, got married (more than once), started a family (also, more than once!), and returned to college repeatedly until I finally graduated at the unbelievable age of 50 (32 years after my feeble attempts at beginning!)
Looking back, with wise (or at least, wiser) eyes, it is difficult to stop myself from viewing my life as rushing days, followed by too short nights, slip sliding away. I want to grab hold of these last precious days of August, clinging to them for all I'm worth, but day by day, they are slipping through my clenched hands. I want to plant my feet and shout, "No! No! NO!!" to the seductive call of the classroom.
Oh, I know you're wondering about that "seductive" business, but it's true. Look it up.
Seductive: adjective - tempting and attractive; enticing . . .
The best part of being a teacher is the beginning of the year: a fresh start, with new students, brand new crayons and colored pencils, unmarked notebooks, a sparkling clean whiteboard, brimming with confidence, excited about trying new ideas. I am weird, but I love arranging the classroom, moving things around, creating a welcoming learning space. Once I'm there, I can't wait for the kids to show up.
We have a traditional "meet the teacher" evening (next Thursday) a week before school begins. I love meeting the kids and their parents. I have five returning families this year, siblings of earlier years, and I'm excited to see them again. I love the first days of getting to know everyone, creating our classroom family. I love teaching.
But this year, I'm just not quite ready to give up my time at home, and that somehow seems selfish. (although I don't really care!) I am blessed with a career that I enjoy, and that allows me to have several weeks "off" during the summer. How wonderful! Except this summer wasn't exactly restful, and I think that is why I'm dragging my feet about returning to the classroom. For the first time all summer, I've had a couple of days to myself at home. I forgot what this is like. It's heavenly to putter around as long as I want, fuss with rearranging furniture as I give the floors a thorough vacuuming (which may not happen again until my next "break"). I'm leisurely sorting through odds and ends, cleaning out cupboards and drawers, and enjoying this time with no conversation except "Move, Nikki" as my dog has an uncanny way of lying directly in my path, regardless of what direction I plan to take!
I went in to my classroom once last week, and this past Monday. Kailyn did my bulletin board, as it is tradition that one of my daughters does this, and it's been Kailyn for the last several years.
|We found the owls cheap, and decided, it's a theme!|
Fantastic tree she created, don't you think?
Last night Kailyn called from Ellensburg to tell me about her volunteer practicum experience. She met the teacher on Tuesday, and will spend the next six weeks with a 4th grade classroom. She was bubbling over with enthusiasm, excited to be involved in the process of beginning the year with a teacher other than her mom. (And I mean that in the nicest way! She always loves helping out and meeting my kids in the fall, but this year, she will be in a completely new situation in Yakima.) I was excited along with her, even though I'll be missing her capable presense in my own classroom this year!
And, last week, Jess left for Australia. There was a whirlwind of activity in the days leading up to her departure, with last minute clothing purchases (her "teacher" wardrobe) and last lunches and last suppers!
|David, Jessica and Kailyn at Menchies for Jessica's|
"Farewell, I'm off to Australia" dessert night.
|Whew! After packing and weighing and unpacking and|
repacking, her suitcase made the 50 pound cutoff, barely!
|Good bye, just prior to the slightly tearful hug from mom!|
This time it's just for 12 weeks. Much easier than an entire year!
Jess sent me this photo yesterday. I believe it was taken in her room, just before leaving for her first day of student teaching. I think the reality of where she is, and what she is doing, along with Kailyn's pre-teaching experience, really hit me this morning as I was writing this post.
Time is indeed . . . slip sliding away.