Thea is easing her way back to the school year by attending Marching Band camp for three days this week. She has to be at school at 8:00am, a time of day she has rarely seen for the past two months.
It’s got me thinking, what’s better: to practice waking up and getting going in the morning or to blissfully lag about until the morning of the first day of school? And I have to think, option two is the better choice. Really, no matter how much we “prepare” the first week of school is exhausting, for both teachers and students (and parents). There just are no true test conditions that can recreate the stressful mornings of stuffing breakfast in your mouth while searching for the new bus pass. And what can prepare you for being “on” for six hours after being essentially “off” for six weeks? Even though we’ve used our brains quite a bit (my girls and I have done an awful lot of reading and writing this summer, and even visited a museum or two) it’s different from the intellectual demands of school. Or maybe it’s just the scheduling of it – you must be cognitively ready during the hours of 8:00 am and 2:00 pm., not at randomly inspired times.
In the summer we ease ourselves awake with reading, we eat when we’re hungry, we stop what we’re doing to write down a really good story idea, we lie down when we’re tired. In school we jump out of bed to get to the bus stop on time, eat at the scheduled lunchtime, stay on task, and lie down when we get home.
So, I don’t want to ease into that. I want to enjoy every slow minute of time before it.
Thea’s starting early but she loves marching band, and there is lots of time to socialize. But for Anya and I, we’re leaving our days unplanned and taking things as they come. And, even though I’m doing a ton of work to get ready for the first day of school next week, I’m doing it on my own time with iced coffee and reading and writing breaks and the occasional nap.
My end of summer Slice of Life.