August. I did a little research to find some interesting tidbits. Here’s what I found:
* It is the seasonal equivalent of February in the Southern Hemisphere
* In a leap year, August ends on the same day of the week as November
* It was originally named Sextilis (Latin) because it was the sixth month under the original Roman 10 month calendar
* In 8 BC it was renamed in honor of Augustus, founder and first Emperor of the Roman Empire
* It is one of the seven months with 31 days
* It’s the start of the school year
It’s these last two facts that bring me to the computer today.
The month of August has taken on three distinct roles as I moved from childhood to adulthood to motherhood. When I was a child, school began after Labor Day. August was like the last ripe berries on the bush. You didn’t want to rush eating them. You wanted to wait as long as possible because you knew they’d be super sweet in the end. As the hot and hazy days of August rolled along, we didn’t want them to rush by either. Gone would be our neighborhood games of hide and seek, group bike rides to the pool and visits from the ice cream truck. Those moments would be replaced by hours inside a classroom, with structure and without socializing. No, we didn’t want August to end.
When I became a teacher, I found my feelings about August conflicted. My first few summers I worked summer school and took Master’s classes, so August became my only month “off.” I’d hit the beach, stay up late watching bad TV and spend time with my friends. However, I did not get to enjoy all 31 days because by the middle of August, I began to prepare for the upcoming year. I did (and still do) this with great excitement and anticipation. I love being a teacher. The trepidation I feel right before the beginning of each school year is awesome. Teaching is a job where no two days are exactly the same. Also, I can have the best lessons and activities planned only to encounter one tiny hiccup in the day that requires me to stop and switch gears. It is not a profession for the inflexible!
When conversing with parents about upcoming vacations, some would lament about what to do with all that extra time with their children. Inside, I would be absolutely giddy about my upcoming break from their cherubs! But, I had to suppress these feelings as I saw looks of panic flash across their faces!
A few years ago, I entered their world. Vacations for me are breaks from teaching but not from working. I look forward to spending extra time with the boys (and in my jammies!) I also get anxious about how we will adjust to our new schedule. Summer vacation allows us more time to adjust. Then August comes, and again, I am conflicted. The teacher in me is calling. “You have to get into your classroom and see what supplies have been delivered. It’s time to do some research for new lessons.” The mother in me gives her a gigantic “SHHHH!” She says, “These are the last weeks with your boys. Make play dates. Have fun!” Out loud I say, “UGH! How can I do both?”
Ah, August. I will take you one day at a time. Hope for more sunny days than rain. And wish you were just a few days longer. J