It’s the last day of summer break, tomorrow is the first day of a new school year. It will be twentieth year as a teacher and it will be my 45th year spent in a classroom as either as a student or a teacher.
This morning, Ivy and I enjoyed one final morning of summer freedom together. I sipped coffee and she guarded the bird feeder from the pesky squirrels. The squirrels chirped at her from high in the tree but Ivy stood her ground.
Yesterday, I took time to visit my classroom and help with the schedule and locker distribution. It was nice to see so many excited faces and help students with locker jams or even simply help with a locker combination. Yes, even 8th graders forget how to work a combination lock. Most locker issues were jammed lockers or the wrong locker combination was given to the student – that happens. This will be my 18th year at this school and the lockers are 18 too which explains why there are jams. 17 years of use can wear on locker.
The past week has been a whirlwind of sorts. We’ve been back from the lake for a couple of weeks but it has been busy at home with W, my son, who’s been preparing for Marine Corps Boot Camp. He reported this past Sunday.
The reporting and shipping out process is complicated. W reported to the recruiter’s office and then was transported to the hotel where he would spend Sunday night before being taken to the processing center before shipping out Monday. Once he had checked into the hotel, he was free until 8:30. We had time for dinner with some time left over.
But, where to go?
We were close to O’Hare Airport so we decided to drive around and watch airplanes take off and land. We parked as close as we could and watched. When W was young, we would spend time watching planes land and takeoff at the O’Hare. I’ve taken O, too. When I was young, my dad took my brothers and I to the airport to watch airplanes, too. In 2007, when the A380 landed at O’Hare during its test flights, we were there. So, we that’s how we our time Sunday afternoon watching aircraft at the airport land and takeoff and it was great fun – the four of us together.
Afterwards, we had dinner and said good night. Knowing we’d see him once more Monday morning to watch as he took the oath of office and say our last good-byes before the bus left for O’Hare.
I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
We won’t see him until early November when he graduates. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll get a letter from him with his address and we can write notes of encouragement. I’ve already begun.
I’ve been rather stoic about W’s choice knowing that it’s a good fit for him. I also know he’ll do well, it’s the kind of young man he is. It’s also why I’ve been spending time watching birds and butterflies in our backyard and beyond.
One of the summer pastimes I’ve I begun to enjoy is taking time in mid-afternoon to sit and enjoy the backyard. Ivy joins me and we both scan the yard together. I look for birds and Ivy scouts for bunnies and squirrels. We both sit quietly and take in what our backyard offers. Friday afternoon I captured a Monarch butterfly feasting on the zinnias in the garden. I took a few photos with my phone before I went inside for the camera, when I returned the butterfly had moved on.
W has moved on and forward, too. Our kids all grow up and move on.
Today is Wednesday, it’s the last day of summer break and it’s going to be a great day. It’s been a great summer in so many ways and it’s time for me to get back to a regular schedule. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. It could possibly be the best day ever. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, knowing that change is always afoot.
Have you ever spent time watching airplanes at the airport?
NOTE: This post is edited with the new WordPress – Gutenberg post editor. Learning something new, always and like most new things, it is getting easier to use.