Summer brain and the start of a new school year

I’m such a cliche.  After having spent the whole week thinking today was my wedding anniversary, I actually looked at the calendar.  It’s tomorrow.  It’s not that I didn’t know the date we got married; it’s that I didn’t know what today’s date was.  I’m blaming it on summer brain.

Summer brain is the heavy for so many things that have gone un-done this summer. Every year, I start out this long expanse of time off with grand plans and open space in which to grow ideas and actual things.  I set a plan to read a book a week, exercise more, tend to my vegetable garden, learn to sew, dive into the new curriculum, de-junk my house of all the clutter, and write every day. I was going to explore the nooks and crannies of the Bay Area, take more photographs, go on more adventures.

Looking back on the last two months, very little got done.

If summer gave out report cards, I’d be in remediation. Someone would be planning RTI to turn my summer achievement around.

Now, with a week and a half left before I have to report back to school, I’m like that kid who comes in the day before grades are due, asking if there is any extra credit.  Can’t I turn in some old photographs and have you ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’?  If I drive over to the next town, into a neighborhood I’ve never visited, can I count that both as an exploration and an adventure? If I finish one more book of the four I’ve started, can I get credit? Can’t I have just a little more time? 

Summer’s pretty rigid though.  She’s allowing me one more short vacation next week, but after that, the party’s over.  The kids are coming, ready or not.

Truth is, as much as I wish summer would linger (she’s in such a rush!), I’m excited to meet my kids and to get to know them. I’m excited to start out a new year, with new curriculum and new ideas. I’m looking forward to more collaboration with colleagues and seeing what happens when our minds come together. I’m ready to wake up this summer brain and get it stretching in new ways.

This feeling, though . . . this apprehension, this trepidation . . . I am reminded that this is how the kids feel at the beginning of a new year.  The butterflies in my stomach are a familiar and common first-day-of-school malady.  It’s good to remember that we all feel that way; it’s good to remember that we all get a little summer brained in June and July.

So . . . the first few days of school, we will stretch gently.  There is no rush.  We have the whole year to grow.

*** The joys of blogging!  I started out this post thinking I was going to write about my anniversary (21 years tomorrow!) but instead, what was really percolating beneath the surface were all the feelings I have about the end of the summer and the start of school. I’m often surprised at where my heart has decided we must go — and how it wins, even when my brain is following a different map. Thanks Summer!




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