Friday, August 27, 2010

sucked into a black hole of work? check.

The first full week of work is now behind me (no students until next week!), and I know...I haven't checked in.  This is how my  life works around this time of year:  back-to-school.
  • gazing in a stupor at the four walls of my classroom as though I cannot picture them containing any sort of knowledge?  check.
  • back-to-back twelve hour workdays during which my children forget what I look like? check.
  • never-ending to-do list? check check check...(oh! that wasn't on my list, but I did it so I'm going to write it on my list so I can check it off! check!)
Summer vacation used to be this long stretch of lazy days and reading books and babysitting my little brother and slowly growing so bored that I actually looked forward to climbing on that yellow school bus with its bad shocks and its freckle-faced bullies and its inevitable arrival at school.

I liked wearing my new outfits and arranging my new school supplies.  I liked seeing who got their braces off and who got a bad permanent (um, me...) and who had grown six inches (um, not me...) and who had emerged from the cocoon of summer looking all sexy (um, no comment.)  After that, it was pretty much downhill in my eyes, but at least I was good at sneak-reading and had the ability to do my own thing while absorbing what I needed from the lesson with my spidey-senses.  (I know. I was rude and insolent and snarky and lazy.  I know it was obnoxious of me to still get straight A's.  Believe me, I pay penance for my middle school self every day.)

As an adult, though, summer seems to shrink every year.  I have big dreams that second week of June--all the wonderful things our family is going to do, all that lovely together-time.  We'll go camping; we'll go on amazing road trips.  We'll have fires on the beach and hang out with friends and read giant stacks of delicious books.  I'll paint a masterpiece to hang on my living room wall.  Hell, I'll paint my back deck before it rots right out from under me.  And then, about halfway through July, I realize that I'm only going to accomplish a tiny fraction of those dreams.  The camping/road trip money is spent replacing a dead clothes dryer, and then on replacing the washer, which dies shortly afterwards of a broken heart.  The husband has to go to work in the middle of the night and can't really stay awake for a bonfire or many nights out with friends.  The kids fight each other with tree limbs in the backyard while I wonder if the stain will even stick to the deck in 96% humidity.

So this year summer was simply not quite long enough for me to paint my masterpiece.  (Um, or even finish painting the deck...but before you judge, it's a HUGE deck, with all this underneath stuff and skinny rails that needed three coats and walls of lattice...and I've still got time before the snow flies!)

It was just exactly long enough for me to finish a first draft of my newest novel.

It was long enough (plus one day) to finish my first pass of edits on KISS THE MORNING STAR.  (YAY!)

It was nearly long enough for me to forget all my passwords at work.

It was enough time for me to read somewhere between 25 and 30 books (several of which were chapter books I read out loud to the boys--Oh, how we love Ramona and Beezus, Laura and Mary, Peter and Fudgie!)

And it was just about exactly enough time for me to be able to look out at a crowd of middle schoolers (which I would possibly have referred to as a horde of hoodlums mere weeks earlier!) and think, "Awwwww, look at how cute and shiny they all are!"

So happy back to school season, and I will try to squeeze a little blog post here in between the book reports. 


Jill Wheeler said...

I hear you. Oh, I hear you.

Got kids last week. It was the longest week ever.

Kristan said...

"It was just exactly long enough for me to finish a first draft of my newest novel.

It was long enough (plus one day) to finish my first pass of edits on KISS THE MORNING STAR. (YAY!)

It was nearly long enough for me to forget all my passwords at work."

LOL well at least you got the important stuff in.

Lisa said...

I hope you have a wonderful school year. I have such a soft spot for people who teach (and enjoy!) middle schoolers.

I'm so excited for you on your WsIP!

loveable_homebody said...

Have fun grading. I wonder if "Kids accidentally calling me mom" has ever been on your list of things to expect in the new school year.

Middle school does seem to be a common period for kids to get braces in.

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