Friday, July 16, 2010

The Rhythm of Summer

What a perfect day.  It's grey and overcast, cloudy.  It's raining, slowly, gently, steadily. I'm up early because my Border Collie thinks sleep is a wasted activity. ( Poor thing. I let her out at 11:30 last night, and she promptly went and lay down under the big Maple in the back yard. It's just too hot to sleep in our room, it seems.)  I'm glad she gets me up by 7, because then I can enjoy early mornings and my coffee, and today, the rain. I would not get myself up that early, left to my own devices in the summer time, and I am often tempted to grumble at her, but she's just too darn excited to be alive and to get going on another day, that I can't. I find I'm actually grateful for my yippy little alarm clock.
Monday through Thursday, I have to be up at school by 8:15 or so, and I work with 4 students from 8:30 - 10:30. I enjoy it. I enjoy them. Summer school has a pace and a feel altogether different from the regular school year. Three of these kids are not kids I worked with last year, and one is. The one I have been teaching for a solid year on this reading program is just not making a lot of progress, so it is tempting sometimes to be discouraged, to feel like the program itself does not work. But seeing the progress the other three have made, is very encouraging. They ARE learning, the program DOES work, and I AM playing a huge part in teaching dyslexic children how to read. I am impacting the future of these kids. A good place to be, professionally, after too many years in the remedial field, feeling like I was simply spinning my wheels because I didn't KNOW what to do. AND, it has made me realize that my one little chickie who ISN"T making any progress is really struggling with many more issues than simply an inability to read. I don't know what her issues are, and I will keep pushing away at it with her, but I have been able this summer to see her more clearly, and suddenly, I am not angry with her, or the program, or myself anymore. She is being tested this fall as soon as school starts for learning disabilities, and other issues, so I'll know more then. For now, though, she is at least treading water and I've learned that that can be enough for the month of July.
     Once I'm done at school, I usually come home around 11, spend a little time on the computer, eat my lunch, and then begin tackling something around the house. My major project for the summer has been a desire to make my bedroom a sanctuary for sleep again, rather than the store room for everyone's outgrown clothes, extra blankets, bags of stuffed animals no longer cuddled with, etc. The major thing to deal with is, we just have TOO. MUCH. STUFF.  But after having cleaned out my dad's house, the decisions here about what to hang onto and what to get rid of seemed so much easier. So, I've had NO PROBLEM finding "50 things" (earlier post) to throw away.  I'm not even counting. I've bagged up an entire huge garbage bag full of extra sheets, another of extra blankets, several bags of clothes, stuffed animals, etc. It's coming along. It's not there yet, not completely, but it is significantly and noticeably better, and I feel lighter when I enter my room. It's a good feeling.  I'm even contemplating cleaning off the bookshelves in the hall, and making the hall really nice and clean and organized too. Then, there are the daily things to contend with some afternoons - laundry, dishes, waste basket emptying, dinner to fix, lawn to mow.  I usually take a little break about 4:30 when the house starts filling with people again at the end of their day.  Then, dinner, dishes, sometimes a little more work or else Fox News and Bill O'Reilly. Usually, I'm ready to head up to bed by 9, to read and relax and let the fans do their work to cool off the heat of the day, before sleep by 9:30 or 10.  I feel SO much more rested and relaxed than I do between September 1st and June 30th. Oh, wait, that's why it's called vacation, huh? :)
     Fridays have their own rhythms. Today, for example. I don't have to be at school on Fridays, so I can get up, drink my coffee, read quietly while three of the dogs just lay around at my feet. Bramble, of course, has to have a filled Kong, or a chew bone, or be let out. She does not know the meaning of relax and could no more lay here quietly, dozing or snoozing, than the man in the moon.  She'd rather be out in the rain on a day like today than laying here dry and quiet. Today, both my boys are home, and still sleeping. Neither has to work on Friday. Normally my 15 year old would still be sleeping, too, but she is off for a camping weekend in the Thousand Islands with a friend, so it is just the boys and I.  They, too, have to be up early for work over the summer, most days, so I like it when they can sleep in like normal teenagers on a day here and there.  Today will be a fold the laundry, vacuum, clean the tubs kind of day. Just a catch up day. I need to go see my dad, too. I have not had a car this week or last, so I have not seen him in way too long for a clear conscience.
     I like that the summer afternoons are quiet, and hot, and the waves of heat and humidity roll and shimmer across the front lawn like organized ripples in a pond. I love the sound the cicadas make, humming to themselves to keep cool high up in the leafy branches all afternoon. I love that the cricket choruses begin in early evenings, just before dark.  I even love the rain today, even though it will not do much to cool things down. Summer has settled over me here like a comfort. I hear and feel it's rhythms, and my own have slowed to match them, and we are in sync for awhile.
     I have much to do, much to accomplish still this summer, but I'm on my way, and confident, that with the way summer has organized itself around me, that I will get to much of it. I don't feel pushed or compelled or anxious. What gets done will,  and if it doesn't, oh well. THAT is the beauty of summer. (Of course, ask me on or around, say, the 20th of August, when school is in sight, if I STILL feel that complacent about unfinished projects. I dare say I might feel a little more frantic by that point... )  July is a luxury month. I don't have to worry about anything in July. June has just finished, and I still have August, so September is just way too far away to worry about yet. I love the rhythm of summer, especially in July!


Coloradocasters said...

So many wonderful things for a reader to comment on regarding this post. I have seen total success and failure in regards to people with dyslexia. Some master it with some help and offer brilliance to the world. Some receive no help and drown in the confusion. The full worth of your endeavor may never be calculated in total but quite feasibly you could be saving one life at a time.

Peruby said...

This post reminds me of long summer days sitting on my front porch in the huge house I grew up in. Reading a book listening to the leaves rustle in the trees. Sweet summertime!