Monday, August 18, 2008

School Bells Ring, Are You Listening...

Oops, wrong season! No winter wonderland out there. Not yet, anyway.

Here in Kansas, the school year starts early. This year is definitely no exception. And after looking at the school calendar, it really appears that, at least here, we're moving little by little more to year-round school.

I admit that in the past, the thought of going to school throughout the year, without three months of summer off, made my jaw drop, but as I get older and see the benefits, the dropping of said jaw has been getting less and less pronounced. I've recently decided that having children in school all year might be much more beneficial to all than I'd ever considered.

Could that be that after 11 weeks of having four grandkids for five (and sometimes six!) days a week, I'm more than ready to get back to having some quiet time during the day? Now don't get me wrong. I love my grandkids. I love watching them grow, and I love watching them learn. The wonder on their faces at times is so priceless, it makes me want to weep. But after 11 weeks (long, bickering-between-them weeks, at times), the daily routine of getting them off to school began last Thursday, and I'm already loving it. I may not be saying that in the freezing, icing and snowing days of winter, but right now, it's heaven! (And they'll be too busy to dump a brand new bottle of chocolate syrup on the trunk of my car!)

I don't remember feeling this way when their moms were young, maybe because I was, too. My patience wears much thinner these days, and my outlet--writing--hadn't yet begun and wouldn't for several years. We share a lot of memories, my daughters and I, of those days, especially the ones of the first day of school each year. The year my #3 daughter started kindergarten, it rained so much, we couldn't get to the school because of the flooding. She was so disappointed, she cried all the way home when we had to turn around and go back, unable to get into town on the water-filled country roads. My fondest memory of going back to school was only a day later, when they were finally able to go. #4 daughter wasn't born until October, and I remember taking the three girls to school that day and returning home to the quiet of an empty house, something I hadn't experienced in nine years! I sat in the rocking chair in the corner for hours, cherishing the solitude of that first day. But when that first day of school was over, I also remember going to pick them up, eager to hear their stories of new friends and new teachers. And then life took hold, and I never spent another morning in the corner rocking chair again.

I value teachers, those women and men who have dedicated their lives to educating our youth, our children. They must have been specially chosen for their outstanding patience and love, the first being something I seem to run short on more often than I used to. So today is my (unofficial) salute to all of them, and especially those HAR authors here, who care for and nurture our children and grandchildren in so many ways. Bless you all!


Cheri2628 said...

I recently retired after 30 years of teaching kindergarten and first grade. After my own years of schooling I went straight to teaching, so it really seems strange to not be starting school right now. It feels strange, but it feels satisfying too. I was ready to retire and have more time for myself. Teaching is very time-consuming! So, instead of fixing up my classroom and making lesson plans this week , I have time to read, work on projects at the house,watch TV, visit blogging sites on the web, and travel. I am loving every minute of it!

Estella said...

School in my neck of the woods doesn't start until the day after Labor Day.

Ellen said...

I retired about 3 years ago after 35 years of teaching high school mostly 9th grade and I have to admit while I enjoyed it most of the time there were times I could have used a long holiday in the middle of the year. I really admire those authors who also teach. I don't know where they find the time!