Let me be clear, I was excited for summer.
I was excited to can sta
y up later and sleep in more frequently. I was excited that I wouldn’t have to plan weekday outfits the night before. I was excited to have opportunities to travel and see far-flung family members. I was excited to spend time in the garden and at the park. I was excited to read books and play games.
But now I am just as excited for school.
When I was a kid, I liked
the freedom of summer, the untetheredness. The fact that it barely mattered what time of day it was, or day of the week.
But I there were things
did not enjoy about summer.
I saw my friends much less frequently. My closest friends were almost always the ones I went to school with. I played sports and did 4-H with other kids, but I didn’t spend the necessary time with them to forge the same bonds as I had with my classmates.
The lack of structure I sometimes love? Also frequently proves to be my downfall. Without places to go and people to se
e, I will stay home without pants on. That’s fine every now and then, but it’s not something I want to make a habit of, and it’s not my favorite thing about my
self. And when I have no externally imposed structure, when I’m the one who has to create structure and enforce it? That’s a challenge for me. Sometimes I wonder how I get any
thing done, not because I’m so busy, but because I struggle with self-discipline, follow-through, and taking initiative at home.
Finally, I missed recognition. When I was a kid, I missed school because I was good at school. I could get A’s and sometimes even rewards for good behavior. I did not get the same recognition at home; I didn’t get graded on doing chores or get kudos for not killing my siblings. Not that my home life was particularly bad, but I received constant validation from my teachers and much less consistent attention from my parents. I felt like I was a much better student than I was a daughter. And I had one of those decent childhoods. For many of my students – many of our students – school is the place where they are treated best. I have a great home life now, but I also really enjoy the mutual acknowledgement, respect, and even love I build throughout the year with my students.
So, halfway into September, despite the tiredness and the worn-out vocal cords, I still feel like I’m back where I belong.