Though teachers and students across the U.S. have been trickling back to school for the past several weeks, the celebration of Labor Day traditionally signals the final, “That’s all folks!” regarding summer fun. Or any fun. Whatsoever.
Did I mention I’m a teacher heading back this week?
Now parents, please don’t
contact my principal get me wrong. I’m excited about meeting your children, and nurturing them, and learning and growing with them. I’m almost equally excited about going back to one bathroom break per day. Because, who wouldn’t appreciate the daily opportunity to strengthen their bladder muscles?
Yes, I am excited, because the back-to-school season holds so much promise…like the final unopened curtain on an episode of Let’s Make a Deal — You could win a trip around the world! Or, you could win a bracelet made from cooked bacon. Actually. Bad example. (I’d take either of those prizes. Because, MMMMmmm…bacon!)
But you know what I mean — the year hasn’t taken shape yet, and there are hopefully many great and wonderful and positive life-changing experiences to come. Just as, hopefully, there will be far less of the things that would cause you to run weeping to your car before collapsing into the darkest corner of your closet with only a pocket-full of old cashews to keep you company.
Not that I know anyone who’s done that.
No year is without any challenges, though, and whether those trials and tribulations come from school, work, family or other — no one is immune. Even those who no longer mark their calendars with “First Day!” or “Final Exam!” may recognize this time of year as one of potential change or challenge. Or, they may just notice that the crazy increase in traffic makes them want to crawl back into the womb. Point being — they notice!
Nine years ago, I published a post called, “Back to School, Back to the Mountain.” In that piece, I talked about my (then much younger) children going back to school, and about plans I was making, dreams I was dreaming, and “mountains” I was going to climb during those months of the upcoming bright and shiny new school year.
Readers may look back at what I wrote that day and feel bad for me, or something along the lines of…
Wow! Not only did she definitely NOT climb that mountain…she rolled back down and then fell into the venomous snake pit at the bottom!
Watch out for the fangs!
The fact that I’m not on the Best Seller list, or the Best Blogger list or even the Best Moonwalker list (although I’m getting close on that one), may be reason enough for such commentary. Life threw a few curve balls our way. We dodged some. Got some nasty shiners from others. Still, there were different mountains, some bigger some smaller, where I did reach the top.
And as I head back to the classroom this year, I have some new mountains in mind — some deal with keeping my summer-writing momentum going. But I’m making no promises this time around. No public declarations. No, “This is it!” Because, let’s face it, life can pretty much be like a merry-go-round that abruptly stops, changes directions and then spirals off its post into the bottomless pit of despair at any given moment.
Or, you know, good things can happen, too.
Today, a new school year begins for my family. Another fresh start. I’ll be back in the classroom, and nights and weekends will once again be filled with teacher-y things smooshed in, under, and around all of the parent-y, life-y things, and my writing time will be going from WAY DOWN to none at all depending on the day. But I’ll deal with it.
You probably have some mountains, hills, or at least a little section of sidewalk that always makes you trip as you exit the grocery store muttering, “Trumpsaywhat?!” So, let’s give each other a hand this time. Put on those crampons, friends. Whatever mountain you’re climbing, I’m with you. Again.
What mountains are you climbing this school year? Do you have a plan for how you’re getting to the top? Or, are you just blindly clawing and whimpering your way up? It’s all cool to me. Please share in the comments!
Find me on Twitter @amandahoving