First, let me apologize for my absence....I missed both my Wednesday and my Friday post. The past five days of wrapping up the school year both in my classroom and for my boys was crazy without boundaries. Class parties, field days, final exams, closing up my classroom- well, only partially closing it up, I still have a fish tank to take care of over the summer- and just finally getting more than a few hours of sleep have all ruled my schedule. This is the first act of writing I have performed in over a week. I was starting to hallucinate and get the shakes. Writing is my drug... I can not go for more than a day without feeling the effects.
Yesterday was my first official day of summer vacation. My sister in law told me to do something fun.
Want to know what I did?
First stop was the butcher followed by a trip to Barnes and Noble to get a gift. After that we hit two grocery stores, the dollar store and the local farm stand.
Please believe me when I say my cupboards and refrigerator were so bare they echoed. In the crush of the past two weeks, I did not make one trip to a single food store. Don't get me wrong, we had canned goods and a few packs of hamburger and sausage but nothing to feed a growing boy for breakfast or a snack after swimming. No lunch meat, no bread to put it on any way and if the milk were delivered on Friday mornings we would not have had that or eggs or cheese. I didn't even have a box of pasta....what kind of Italian runs out of pasta?? So, for my first day of summer vacation I couponed, bounced from sale to sale and filled my kitchen with something other than canned corn and sauerkraut to eat.
At stop number three I am loading my trunk with random items such as watermelon and a case of water when I hear a voice say "Well, look at you in your shorts!"
Walking toward me was a former student. The comment struck me as odd. I mean, we live in the south. It was 88 degrees and 98% humidity...who wouldn't be wearing shorts?
Then I realized this person had only ever seen me in work clothes- pants, skirts and dresses. How odd it must have been for her to see me out in the "real" world, sweating my butt off and wearing shorts and flip flops. I bet she didn't actually mean to say that, but just like most really intelligent people, sometimes things just slip out.
I think it's funny. On my first day off, away from students, one of the first people I see is a student- who was amazed that I, like everyone else who lives in the south was wearing shorts!
When I was sixteen, I think I was convinced my teachers lived in their classrooms. We lived in a really small town yet I never saw a single one of them out in the "real" world ever. I can't go anywhere in this town I live in now without seeing at least one former gem from one of my classes. Do you know that I went to Disney World seven years ago and just as we finished checking in, I ran into a student? That gave a whole new meaning to "It's a small world" for sure.
It's not really a bad thing to see my students. Actually, as long as the relationship was good in the classroom, it can be a great thing. At our favorite restaurant, our server takes really good care of us and my boys adore her. In the grocery stores, my bags are packed well. It is definitely worth the look on the my brother in law's face when he looks at me with a shake of the head and says "Sissy, we just can't take you anywhere..."
I enjoy my time off from work in the summer. It gives me the opportunity to make up for lost time with my boys, get the house back in order and do a whole lot of writing. I don't miss teaching in the summer but I am always ready to get back into it come Labor Day. I intend to spend a lot of time at the pool, the beach and hanging out with friends on the back porch. I am sure, beyond all doubt that I will run into a student or two but I don't mind. I will be wearing my shorts and flip flops just the same.