So I'm sitting here realizing that school ends next week because I'd sorta blocked it from my mind until my friend Amy put on her facebook status yesterday, "For every teacher who's counting down the days until the end of the school year, a mother is doing the same thing for a very different reason."
School ends next Thursday, and I have got to have my plans in order so we don't have a summer like last one where everyone was bored out of their minds and then Alice's head exploded. That was bad.
And this year is different too because I've got, and I don't want to type, "this situation with my mom" because my mom is not a "situation." In fact, right now, caring for my mom is my main priority. I haven't written much about it because it's a lot, and if I sit around and think about it, it makes me sad. The best thing is just do it, and I love to do it. My mom is mostly in bed now; her mind is confused; she's in a lot of pain a lot of the time; and she's on quite a bit of medication so she's pretty sedated. I felt bad because it felt like we bought her peace of mind with drugs, but as Darren pointed out, the alternative is so much worse. I go and see her every other day because she says, "I want my daughter," and I love her so much. I flop on her bed by her and I bring magazines so we can look at the pictures together. I tell her all about the girls and what they're doing and all of the people she knows and what they're doing.
Sometimes I think that I wish I had somebody else's trials (that are easier, of course!) or that God would take this trial away from us, but He gives me enough grace and mercy for every single day. Each morning, I wake up to a fresh supply of it, just like the Israelites woke up to the manna. I don't want to complain about it, like they did. I don't want to be that person. So, it's all good.
In the meantime, I'm figuring out our summer schedule here at home. The girls are going to learn to do more chores, and they're excited about it. Lucy thinks she's hit the jackpot because I'm teaching her how to do the laundry. (Oh laundry, how I hate you! I'm finding someone else to spend time with you!) Elaine is officially the Fastest Vacuumer in the West. We have one area rug in the living room and one small throw rug in the hall. That's it. She whips that vacuum around and does a great job. Of course, she loves the vacuum and likes to use it as much as possible and for as long as possible, until Darren says "Can.she.turn.it.off.now.please?"
We're also having our cooking school. If you've read this blog long enough, you know Lucy wants to be a cook when she grows up, though lately she has added archaeologist and museum worker along with that. You can still learn to be a cook if those are your career goals because all of your co-workers would appreciate good food, right? Elaine's favorite thing to do besides vacuuming is help me cook too (she likes to crack the eggs. Are you surprised?) so we're going to really settle in and learn how to make stuff.
I'm also reading like a maniac as usual and have forgotten about three Library Day posts I could have done. I've made a resolution this summer to read only classics. It's been awhile since I've been immersed in them, and my friend Mary (read her!) says seeing the stage version of Les Mis is not enough, so I've got to read it. And my friend Tom is on a big F. Scott Fitzgerald kick, and he is one of my favorites so I need to go revisit him as well.
Oh and I'm working on the Jul/Aug issue of the magazine, doing the hospitality feature--more on that later--and also setting up my new online academy, which will debut in the fall--more on that later too. I also, in a moment of insanity, sent a note to the head of the English department where I taught last fall and said I could teach this fall. So, I'll have to completely revamp a writing course to accommodate that because frankly, last fall was one big fat failure. I told Jennie, "Maybe I'll take the material I've got for the gifted 8-year-olds, dumb it down, and present it at the college. That just might work."
Then there's also swimming and driving to the girls to Vacation Bible School and all sorts of other stuff, but that's enough for now. And either tomorrow or Monday, I'll have a post I'm so so excited for you to see.
So, look for a summer of visiting and cooking and reading classics and curriculum planning and of course...vacuuming!