Day 72 – the last one

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.

a Monarch and a zinnia

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.

the Monarch spreads its wings….

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.

10 thoughts on “Day 72 – the last one

  1. It must be heart-breaking to see your child go ‘off’ and yet, when we give birth to them they’re already not fully ours any more…. Good luck to him and have a great, blessed and good new school year, full of surprises and many happy events!

    1. Kiki, thank you. We ant our children to grow up and be their own person even though it is difficult to accept, our kids will grow and sprout wings to fly. The school year has brought 117 bright shiny faces all excited to learn science and history. It’s going to be a great year, but first it’s going to be a great day! have a wonderful week ahead.

    1. The time since has flown past – pardon the pun! It was a wonderful time spent together – school has started and I am busy with a regular schedule and demands on my time that keep my mind busy. Have a wonderful week ahead.

  2. Oh – sniff – bittersweet about your son. He’s going to do well because he was raised right, but it’s still hard knowing he’ll most likely be facing some ugliness in that line of work.

    Make the most of your remaining time off. And – enjoy the school year!!! New kids – new stories to tell.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. School is well underway – eight days. W’s been at boot camp for almost three weeks – mailed three letters I hope he’s enjoyed them. W is in a good place and like countless marines who’ve passed though boot before him – he will survive and be the better for it, so will we. Even caterpillars will eventually sprout wings and fly. Thank you for the encouraging words. Have a wonderful week.

  3. My grandson is the plane watcher. He has wanted to be a pilot since he was 4. He’s now 13. I’m deciding to feel sorry for you, returning to school while it’s still August. But the I remind myself you finished so much earlier than British schools did. It all comes out in the wash. Enjoy the new term!

    1. I’ve had a good summer – lots of good things have happened for me and my family. I am thankful. W wanted to be a pilot but let his dream get derailed – perhaps (I am praying) the Marines will help him refocus and realize his dream.

      Meeting my new students yesterday was energizing. Tomorrow and Friday are meetings and rather mind-numbing with new procedures and information. Friday evening I am off to see my mom in Houston for the weekend, then back for Monday and school starts Tuesday. Always moving forward. Thank you for the good wishes.

Thanks for visiting MtDC. How are YOU Making YOUR Days Count?