Christmas Break And The School Teacher – A Retrospective


In December teachers are hurled from the runaway semester train amid exams and parties and candy and sentiment and urgency and carols, into the longed-for Christmas break where they don’t know who they are.  Here are some conversations between me and myself that occurred while in that dreamlike state from December 25 to January 2:

“Well, we’ll have to take the car in tomorrow then. Wait, what is today? Christmas or Tuesday?”

*As I change out the tea lights again,  Me:  “Half the pressure is having to create the magic for three solid weeks, you know.”

*Feeling of lethargy,  Me: “Am I getting sick? I think I’m getting sick!” *panic, squeeze every orange and grapefruit in the house and contemplate the lemons and limes.

“I probably should do some thank-you notes.” “Uhhh, yeah.” (stares at ceiling for 30 minutes)

*Awake, but haven’t opened eyes yet,  Me:  “Who is here right now? I have no idea.”

“Today, I take down the tree.”. . .four days later . . . “Today, I’ll at least bring the bins in.”

“Ok, who needs what?”

“I’m back from Walmart! Who missed me?”

“Tonight is every man for his or her respective self.”

*Front door opens,   Me (without knowing who it is or if I know them): “What do you want to eat?”

*Tiny sliver of time when all chicks are in nest,  Me: “Hmmm. This must be what heaven will feel like.”

*Facebook feed, Me: “Everyone seems to be out making family memories. I’m just reading this book about the guy that started Fame recording studio over in Muscle Shoals. And my feet are cold. Conclusion: Happy Facebook People all have warm feet.”

“Bring out your dead!” *Me calling for a massive ingathering of the cups, bowls, plates, glasses, mugs, forks, platters, jugs, bags, sacks, wrappers, sleeves, cans, and bottles that have piled up in the kids’ bedrooms.

*Son (age 19, still in bed at 12:34 pm) “I just can’t get my sleep cycle back on track.” Me: “I think your strategy is flawed.”

Me: “You know those days that you hit the ground running and around 10:00 pm as you fold a load of gnarly dishcloths you realize you haven’t quit moving the whole day? Well, today wasn’t one of those days.”

*Me driving out the driveway to meet someone at 3:30 and trying to get into ‘intellectual meeting’ mindset:  “Is this my street?  It looks like jello.”

*Driving through town on Highway 31,  Me: “Hey, there’s a lawyer. He seems to be working. People are doing that right now?”

*Standing in the driveway saying goodbye to one of the kids, Me:  “See you in two days.  Be careful and text me when you get there.”   Minutes later, still in driveway greeting the next college kid arriving with fiance, “Hiiiiiiii!!!!!”

Sheets and towels.  Sheets and towels.  Sheets and towels. And I love it.

And then, the day comes when we re-enter the classroom to the faces of our student-cherubs and a new semester of study opens before us.

Oh, the blessing!

Happy New Year!



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