So, what did you do this summer?
For several years, for my family, has spend summers dealing with stressors and illnesses and sadness. Thus, I have really dreaded the question that fellow teachers and parents ask when they see you, "How was your summer?" My answers were sometimes pretty vague because frankly, no one wants to hear about spending hours in hospitals, hospice, or planning memorial services.
It's all made me increasingly cognizant that MANY of our children do NOT have the idyllic summers we think of when we envision summer vacation. Our kids deal with time spend traveling to non-custodial parent and time spent being "kept busy" while parents work. I always ask for just one thing they did during the summer and start with something small that I did as a model, such as enjoying an ear of corn or a fresh peach! I love to show them one book I read and talk about snuggling up on the couch to read it. Not everyone travels to Bermuda or summers on the coast of France!
Fortunately, this summer I have had had the opportunity for several short trips and some much needed fun-time with family and friends. I was thinking about that age old question as I watched the ponies the other day at the historic Saratoga Raceway. I wager $1.00 on horses with names that appeal to me such as Ballistic Sue or Picture Book! While I had to take a gamble on a horse named after my daughter (same name but not the same descriptive adjective), that one did not pan out even though did not need to be shot! However, I made .20 (twenty cents!) on a cute little horse named Picture Book who had never won a race before! Seriously, I have never made money on a "picture book" before even though I have spent a lot of money on them! While I won't be having that conversation in elementary school, it will certainly be a great small moment for my grad students! I think it was a SIGN of what I should be doing during the rest of the summer: writing a picture book about making money...hmmmm...maybe after I help seal the driveway! That just might be something to write about, too!