Today was my first official day of vacation. I got a bit of packing done, but mostly in my classroom. I am offically gone — turned in my keys, hugged the principal, the janitor and the secretary. Shed a few more tears.
At the end of each work day I am so tired, it is all I can do to drag myself into the house and package the eBay products that sold during the day. Then I list a few more — and suddenly the evening is shot and I am crawling into bed for a few hours sleep before something jerks me awake.
Sunday afternoon I stumbled into my room for a nap. My head hurt. My eyes burned. I needed sleep.
I fell across my bed and collapsed. Fifteen minutes later I heard shouting and cursing. It sounded close. Too close. In my yard close. I rolled off the bed and looked out the window. Some dude was trying to climb the chain-link fence that surrounds my backyard. It’s a low fence and I think he would have made it easily if it weren’t for the two cops holding on to him.
They lifted the guy off the fence and spread him across the hood of my car. Lovely. They spent about an hour in my driveway before they tucked him in their car and rolled away. After that I couldn’t get to sleep. Every little noise would jerk me to wakefulness, and I had terrifying dreams.
Monday at school we had the annual 5th grade barbecue. Hot dogs, sodas, kickball and 104F heat. I drug my butt home to a huge number of sales — that’s not a complaint, but I had to work rather then rest — and no air conditioning. I called the office and they had someone here within 20 minutes. He looked at the swamp cooler and told me it was an easy fix. All it needed was a new drive belt. That was the good news. The bad news was, he didn’t have one and since it was after 5, he couldn’t get one until morning.
So, I suffered through packaging and listing in 104F temps with no air. Luckily I do have a small unit in my bedroom window and it kept my bedroom cool enough that I could sleep — but again I had those horrid dreams. Cops, sirens, screaming, guns — I don’t need to watch TV, it’s all right there behind my eye-lids.
I need sleep. I need rest. I need school to be over.
Today we had the practice culmination ceremony. Traditionally at the end of the program I take the mic and introduce the outgoing students to their parents as next year’s sixth graders, and the graduating class of ____ (add seven to the current date). Today — at practice — I stepped up to the mic, had the kids stand and face where the audience will be — and couldn’t speak. My throat closed up. Tears filmed my eyes. I realized there is no way I am going to be able to do this for real on Thursday without seriously crying.
Usually the year end ceremony makes me a bit misty, but this is for real. This is good-bye. They won’t be bopping into my room next year to sit on the table and tell me about life in sixth grade. I won’t be there.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am looking very much forward to the next phase in my life, but while looking so earnestly ahead, I forgot how very much I hate saying good-bye.
Tomorrow I am giving my students Wasabi Peas to taste and design advertisements for. They can write taglines and do art, while I sit at my desk and do report cards.
I don’t know how much work I’ll actually get done because I want to watch the fun and listen to the conversations. If anything good comes out of this you know I’ll share.
Well, my friend is moved, finally. The drama in her life is over, but the drama in my life is about to crank up full steam.
My life is selling on eBay at a startlng rate and I spend much of my time wrapping packages and making mailing labels. Report cards are due Friday and I’ve not started them yet. I may be noticibly absent for the rest of this week. Be patient with me. I’ve not forgotten you.
Don’t look for me here. I am helping a friend pack and move. Don’t ask me why I’m helping a friend when I should be doing my own packing. I just am.