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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Longing For the Other Side of Summer

I'll be doing whatever snowmen do...
June...the mixed blessing of months.

On the one hand, my students are itchy to be finished with work and get away for the summer; on the other hand, my older son gets out of school, and I have to entertain him 24/7. 

Wait. Mixed blessing?! Where is the good part?!

(I love my boys, but after about four straight days with them, things start to hit the fan.)

Camp. I am calling camp to the rescue.

The treacherous balance of quality time, sanity, and cost weighs large. After much careful consideration, I decide to mix things up with a Monday/Thursday/Friday schedule for the big one and a Monday/Tuesday/Thursday for the small fry. That means I get Mondays to myself, Tuesdays with big guy, Wednesday with (gasp!) both of them, Thursdays to recover alone, and Fridays with baby. This schedule costs more than my usual monthly childcare budget, but as I mentioned before, sanity is one-third of the calculation pie, and sanity, apparently, does not come cheap. May I thank the green earth below that I am able to afford it.

In terms of schedules, teaching is pretty much one of the worst professions in the world for people who love consistent structure and routine, because there is nothing stable about a teacher's calendar year. Yes, working shift work at Rite-Aid would clearly by worse, and I am very thankful that I at least know the hours of my employment from day-to-day, but the cycle of the year, while consistent over time, leaves much to be desired in terms of day-to-day congruence.

In the fall, one gets new small and medium-sized people who need to be trained in the business of school, and right when you think they might have it down, they are released for winter vacation. Then comes the mad rush of January into finals, followed by a notable stretch of productivity. This productivity then disintegrates into spring break mayhem. Upon return from the "Summer Preview," all involved slog through parts of March, April, and the 90 days of May before June comes around. Then June is like a terrible race to the top of a steep cliff: at the top there is a parachute for one that will have to carry me and both of my children to safety at the foot of September.

Summer kills me, kind of like the weekend on steroids. Every project I have put off since spring screams in my face, and the utter inability to complete any tasks in the presence of very small people irritates me completely. How is it that I can get almost every single elementary student in my entire school to write an acrostic poem about Shabbot, but I can under no circumstances keep the floor of my kitchen from being constantly sticky?

May I, and my kitchen floor, emerge enact at the other side of summer.

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