I am a collector of things you can cannot touch. Words, pictures, memories. Right now my focus is summer. Today is day 13. I do not know how many days remain. Enough, I guess. I refuse to count for fear they will disappear too quickly.
I would lie if I said that summer had nothing to do with my decision to become a teacher. However, I could not teach if I did not like the work. Ten months of misery would not be worth two months of freedom. Instead, summer is the perk that makes the pay more tolerable, helps me through those days with angry parents, makes me smile when my classroom is in upheaval. In my past work life, I discovered that time is worth more than money.
Summer is time. Time to refuel. Time to reflect and grow as a teacher, wife, friend, human being. Time to do the jobs that do not pay but feed my soul. Time to write.
Everyday I am asked by people who do not teach, “How is your summer going?”
Splendidly, I respond. I’m actively collecting all those little moments that will get me through the inevitable challenges of the coming year:
Listened to my sister’s high school poetry night, got lost in words, some funny, some sad.
Sunflower in Fair Oaks with my husband, he rode his bike seven miles to meet me. I drove in an air conditioned car.
Veggie burrito, healthy, much tastier than it looks. While other moms took their kids for Happy Meals, mine took me here. We’d feed the chickens and play in the park. I developed a fear of roosters.
Veggie nachos, probably the winner, but don’t tell Alex. He gloats too much when his choice is best.
Sunday dinners with family, swimming, eating, happy.
My birthday came a little early today, make that a month and a half to be exact. My sweet husband bought me a new recorder of words, which I’ll put to good use. The irony of marriage, I’d tell him not to buy it if he asked, but I’m grateful that he did. And, yes, that is the cat you see on our dining room table, maybe you should rethink coming to dinner, I’ve given up on chasing her, at least today.
Much like the dog, I’ve also lazed about. Recharging is required to be a happy teacher. Scratch that, recharging is required to be a happy human being.