Tomorrow we rejoin the working world. It's bittersweet, really: I love my job, but it's never easy for summer to end and the real world to be, well, reality. I mean, it's a pretty sweet gig-- 10 weeks of absolute freedom, steady paychecks coming in, giving us the ability to do what we want when we want. In fact, we'd be crazy to look forward to that ending.
I have never had a job that required me to work summers. Sure, I had summer jobs while I was in school, but once I was hired as a full time teacher, summers were as free as when I was 10. When we became parents, summer took on new meaning: it meant the end to schedules and routines and time to relax and play. Now that the kids are in school and involved in all sorts of activities, that free time is even more precious. We know we're spoiled-- not many families have both parents home all summer able to enjoy their children unencumbered by limited vacation time. We don't teach to become rich, but I have to say this fringe benefit is a pretty big deal, and worth the frustrations that come with the overall financial picture.
We've come to the end of another year. (Since I started kindergarten, my years have started in September rather than January. I've never really known it any other way.) We go back to workshops, the kids spending the next 2 days with bestfriends. Bedtimes, lunch boxes, homework, and after school activities will fill our evenings. Days of the week will matter again. Boy starts school sports this year, which brings a new level of involvement. They're in separate schools, too-- another new change to the routine. But as I write this, I'm in a fleece and contemplating closing the windows. Leaves are falling, and it's time to return to the real world. In a week, I'll be back in the swing, happily hanging with my Sunshines during the days and my own kids at night. But if you think for one minute that I'm glad to see summer go, you're insane. I know how lucky I am, and I'm going to enjoy every last minute.