I Especially Need…

I had plans for art yesterday, but in the end, my job and life got in the way. I let myself be OK with that because part of life was picking up the girlchild from the airport and another part was taking a long walk with small beastie…he can do three miles, in case you were wondering…he wasn’t exactly sure he could do it about 2/3’s of the way through it, but he did it. Although it had zero effect on his rampant hyperness.

I have to say, although he’s cute and all (everyone says it), he can be a handful. This morning, he finally was calm enough to come near Kitten without hissing and growling occurring. But even then, they are at an uneasy standoff.

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Hopefully with some more people in the house, this will get easier, because I’m pretty low on sleep right now with Mr. Barkypants getting his fluff in a huff every time a bird chirps or an animal wanders past my house (it’s a fairly frequent occurrence). And for me to say I’m low on sleep is something…since I don’t get much in the first place.

Girlchild is asleep down the hall, although apparently she’s driving me to work because we’re down to one car. She’s been out of school for a week and a half, but flew to my brother’s house so she could see her cousins, who alternately charmed her and annoyed the crap out of her (as all good cousins do). Tree climbing was one of the things she did…here she is upside down in a photo she liked, but I edited for her, on the fly, on the phone (yes, I know you can do better, but compared to what it used to look like, I thought this was pretty good).

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Looks fun. I should try it some day.

So although I’m (as the girlchild says) a little salty that no art was made, there were good reasons for it. Although I graded and cooked dinner from scratch, so the first? Eh. It rules my life while I’m in school. The second? Good job.

It’s hard to explain to people what being a teacher is like on a regular basis while we’re in school when they just see your long “vacations” (we work through many of them or go to professional development, and summer is unpaid, so that’s not a vacation). Understand that there isn’t a single day when I don’t work…and I don’t get paid for those hours, any more than I get paid for the hours I do almost every single day after I get home from work. And even though I thought I was doing a bang-up job this year saving enough money to get through the summer, one big car issue just kicked my ass on that, much as it did last year…my cushion is now gone. Or it will be as soon as I pay that credit card bill. I do this every year, try to survive the summer. I don’t go on vacations anywhere. During the school year, we can’t take off for more than a few days without causing a ruckus. Every year, I have to rethink my plan for food and peeing during the day, as they move my prep period almost every single year. I’ve had 2nd, 3rd, 7th, and 8th, and this next year, it will be 4th with lunch following directly. Which sucks for a diabetic. It means I’ll have to remember to eat during class, and I can already tell you, I don’t remember that shit.

Anyway. As I get closer to my time off for the summer, for the time I need to recharge from a very difficult year, a year where the kids took months longer than usual to finally figure out the consequences of not turning work in (and some still haven’t figured that out), my brain is getting excited…not just for the mostly uninterrupted artmaking time, but also for being able to pee when I need to, for being able to have lunch out (things teachers can’t do), for being able to run errands during the week because the stores are still open, for not feeling physically and mentally drained by a particularly hard day…or week even. For getting my Sundays back! No lesson planning, no parent email, no updating the website(s) we use for school. No dragging grading with me to my parents’ house for dinner.

I’ve done other jobs. I know the difference. I deserve my unpaid leave in summer. Without it, you would have very few people returning to a mostly thankless job each Fall. Of course, we do it for the kids…not the money…not the time off. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need a break. I especially need a break.

Eighteen days and counting.

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