Let me tell you a poorly kept secret about teachers…WE LOVE SUMMER! Don’t think I’m a bad person- I absolutely love my job, my students, breaking down foundational skills, my colleagues and all the piles of paperwork (actually not so much on the paperwork but the rest is true). Summer is this beautiful time of decompression, lack of schedule and NO LUNCH PACKING!! June stretches ahead like a beautiful landscape just waiting to be filled with pool days, late bedtimes, fresh tomatoes and dinner whenever we feel like it. It’s glorious!
However, in April, as I was putting dates in my planner, I realized that this June would also be filled with…what would have been our 18th wedding anniversary, my son’s 4th birthday, Father’s Day, the month 11 marker and what would have been my husband’s 42 birthday. For those of you keeping score at home that is a total of 5 milestones and oh by the way, they will all occur in an 18 day span. Holy emotional landmines Batman.
I suppose there is no real way to prepare for all of this. My counselor and I purposely scheduled my sessions to book end the 18 days. My parents and close friends are at the ready to pray, help, lay back or whatever I need. Part of me wants to get a badge that says “BEWARE I may cry at any moment.” Another part of me wants to run away and sip cocktails on an island somewhere. However, I’ll be right here at home, leaning in and picking my way through.
I guess what I’ve learned during holiday hell and this messy middle is that you can’t REALLY ever prepare. Some milestones hurt more during the lead up than the actual day. Other milestones are brutal from sun up to sun down. There are milestones can actually make you smile a little and others you just float through almost too numb to feel much.
What I do know, is that summer days and childhoods are fleeting. No matter the emotional landmines that lay ahead, I MUST do my very best to be grateful for my blessings and savor the good. My kids will only have one summer where they are (almost) 4 and 13 and it’s my job to make memories even during the difficult milestones…to keep moving forward (albeit ever so slowly). So please pass the sunscreen and maybe a tissue or two.