So if we're being honest (which I am), I can say that most days I'd rather that my kids just stay here and play together or do their own thing because it's easier for me. Because I'm a lazy introvert. You know, that way I don't have to actually talk to other humans. But in the spirit of not being awful (and because I really did have visions of letting my kids have friends over all summer) I encouraged it for this week since we have a lot of free time.
But our kids don't have a lot of friends on this street. Or at least, Addie did but her one friend that lived in biking distance just moved away three days ago. So we have been trying to arrange a time when they could get together. Such drama. So many phone calls. We finally worked it out yesterday for her to go to the friend's new house and the H man had a friend come spend the day here, too. We spent most of the day taxiing around, dropping off and picking up various children. (And both Hanko and Miss Roo had a good day, so... worth it!--I know.)
The rest of the week so far has been spent setting up my classroom and finishing books. Two days ago I finished Sara Levine's Treasure Island!!! and yesterday I finished Blood, Bones, and Butter. Bookish type posts coming soon. Lots of swimming, too, and lots of cooking. (Including cutting up and grilling a whole bird last night, making myself feel like the Queen of Chicken.)
But I'm not having a lot of luck yet making this a wonderful week of peace before I go back to school. And in fact, I think that speaks to the theme of this whole summer. I've done lots of wonderful things and I have loved spending so much time with the kids, but I just feel kind of uneasy compared to other summers.
Is this because technically I'm still enrolled in grad school, so I have a horrible case of the "I should-s"? (I should be writing more, I should be reading more, I should get those papers all finished before I go back to work, I should, I should, I should...) Probably. Every time I lay down to take a nap I'm keenly aware of what else I should be doing, or what I could be doing if I was more productively using my time. Yeah, I have all of my reading done for the quarter (through December) but I haven't made a lot of progress with my creative work. When I get a lot of one thing done it reminds me of how much of another thing I have yet to accomplish.
Also it's probably related to the fact that I am terrified of what my life outside of school is going to look like this next year when I teach three AP English Lit classes, all of which currently have 38-40 kids enrolled in them (in addition to my two equally-full freshman English classes). It's not the AP curriculum or the kids I'm worried about. I love my job and I love getting to teach what I get to teach and I love working with high level kids. I know what a privilege that is. I've been teaching AP since 2004, so I have a handle on the material. But I am terrified of the workload--120 papers to read every time I collect a free response. I have this amazing nervousness about what it's going to be like. I keep piling on more and more work (because I can't say no) and expecting that I'm going to be able to handle it the same way I could when I had one or two AP classes of about 25 kids each. And every time I start to really think about what life and/or the workload is going to be like, all I can come up with is that this is the world I am teaching in and there's not much to be done about it. Can I handle it? Of course. But what's it going to do to me? I better learn to deal. I just hate the unknown, and for now the fall is unknown. I feel like I have to really be on my game to tackle it.
I guess I'm nervous. All of that^ sounds like nerves to me. This fall is going to be different, too, for personal reasons. Different schedule, different responsibilities, just different.
Ugh. I'm such a worrier.
So really, the best thing I've done this week in the spirit of Zen Time and my own mental stillness is to walk the dog every night. The moon has been beautiful and there's nothing like a walk in the summer evening to help me clear my head.