I stood by our mailbox, in the rain, yesterday and as I gathered all the flyers, bills, and catalogs in my arms, I noticed for a minute how beautiful and quiet our street was. The day’s light was waning even while the pavement glistened. The trees are full of color, finally. In the Bay Area, fall color lags behind the rest of the country, but we are blessed with it all the same.
The burst of fall color always coincides with the break we get for Thanksgiving. Our school district started in mid-August, so the kids and I have been plugging along for about three months, with barely a break.
Colds are creeping through our classrooms as we plow through tissue box after tissue box. We’re all tired. The kids are getting rambunctious, and I’m getting a little grouchy. In case you’re wondering, that’s not a great combination. We’re working on an essay, which means that some of my kids have checked out for break already, even as their 12-year old bodies still squirm in their chairs. I don’t blame them, really — August 14th through November 17th is a long stretch. Both bodies and brains need rest time, a chance to think and grow.
Well, the good news for ALL of us is that today is the last school day before a week off. Thanksgiving break has finally arrived, maybe not a minute too soon. Yesterday’s rain and fall color reminded me that this week I will have time to make soups, read non-essential things, eat whenever I want to, play games with my family, and maybe take in a movie matinee. Yes, we’ll have Thanksgiving dinner, too, with all the hustle that entails — but it will be a different kind of brain work to pull that together.
So, today I will try to be a little less grouchy — a little more grateful for all those squirrely kids. I’ll remember that this day will pass quickly and, if I’m not really paying attention, so will the week ahead. I need to be present for all of it — the slog and the ease.
I am grateful for this day. Mostly, I’m grateful that I took a minute to look around me while yanking the mail out of the mailbox on a rainy, glistening afternoon.