I love standing in the school hallways at arrival and dismissal time. It’s like a barometer that gives me readings of a different kind of atmosphere.
Yesterday, as the bell rang for our half day early dismissal, the kiddos were released from classes, backpacks full of materials, heads full of instructions. Some even stopped to give me a big fat hug. The mood around me was…inexplicably…summer.
I can’t explain it. Maybe it was the warm weather we’ve been having. Maybe it was anticipation of a week of at-home learning before our spring break. Maybe – and this is my guess – it was the sense that we might be looking at an even longer time away and nobody really knows what that will look like.
We stand face-to-face, staring into the wide-open yawn of time. These days at home are going to feel really long, and even more uncertain. And just like with summer, it is upon us to fill our days well, to bring the sense of structure and predictability that keeps us from breaking loose from our moorings.
None of this truly hit me until today, when I noticed that despite having to report for professional collaboration time on Monday, I had shifted into summer mode. Which, for me, translates into expressing insanely productive energy around the house because I am physically unable to downshift once school ends. In the hours since I have been home, I:
*Cleaned out the playroom
*Set up a home office for myself
*Organized all extra food and supplies onto shelving
*Cooked dinner for my family
*Arranged and began assembling a give-away pile
*Wiped down all kitchen surfaces, switches and door knobs
*Did 3 loads of laundry
*Cleaned out my closet and drawers
*Caught up on school work
*Called my mother (always!)
*Rearranged the living room furniture
*Ordered and assembled materials for at-home workouts
*Inventoried and organized the fridge and freezer
Yes. I have a problem. I can’t help myself. I’m a wind-up toy that just has to run down before I can let things be. My entire family knows that the best thing they can do during the first two weeks of summer is to just. Stay. Out. Of. My. Way.
The trick to being a wind-up toy, of course, is running down without becoming run down. I’m always trying to find that balance.
In the meantime, I’ll be over here organizing files and activities for my students. Or cleaning the oven. Or scrubbing the floors. Or or or…