I woke up this morning feeling as if summer had started.
Not that far off -- my personal summer season begins immediately after kiddo's birthday, which will be in less than a week. And we'll be getting a taste of summer today, bringing a picnic in to Queens to visit with a few dear relatives and enjoy the extended sunlight of these late-Spring days.
Today would have been my grandparents' 70th anniversary. I've been thinking a lot about their 50th, which happened just a year or so after Joe and I got married. We loaned them our cake topper as part of the decorations. The granddaughters all dressed up in Andrews Sisters-inspired outfits and sang a handful of our grandparents' favorite songs, then led the family in a singalong. For Grandpa's 100th we skipped the performance but did lead a singalong in the backyard. I think, often, of that day, and how much joy was in that yard, and how many folks there hadn't seen each other in years.
I think about finding more opportunities for joyful gatherings.
I'm thinking, also, of how I spent the summer the last time I had recently separated from a school. The intensity of my solo roadtrip to Montana. The rawness and fragility of my body and spirit, from how hard I'd pushed myself, trying to keep that school open, and feeling such a sense of deep personal failure at not having been able to.
How much better and more satisfying this experience has been. How much healthier my boundaries and self-care have been, this time around. What a strong team we built. How proud I am of my work at SMC, even as I'm conscious of things I could have done better, wish I'd done differently.
It's two weeks to the end of the school year. Bittersweet, bittersweet. I've been working on letting go in bits and pieces -- supporting the staff and the students, but letting my own opinions about things drift into the background a bit. It doesn't matter what I think about the calendar, I'm not the one who's going to need to deal with it. I'm glad I'm the one designing the closing ceremony for the school year -- the ceremony itself will offer an opportunity for reflection and closure, but the act of *designing* that ceremony is deeply meaningful to me.
I haven't been writing as much here as I'd expected to, about all the prep I'm doing for my post-school life. The preparations are continuing apace, but things got busy, and then got sad, and I haven't felt much like writing.
But I've been working away -- helping kiddo make progress on her room, getting a bunch of totally unglamorous but absolutely necessary paperwork done, starting to find new way to connect with people (including slowly starting up a letter-writing practice), beginning to organize our home lives the way I have organized my work life, overhauling the budget (which allowed us to pay off the car loan early, and we're now deciding which other loan to start paying off faster, using the money that freed up).
For the next month we're mostly just planning to maintain the progress we've made, while we wrap up the school year and celebrate kiddo's 15th birthday. And then, to sink into the work of the summer. I'm so ready to sink my teeth into the domestic sphere again and just conquer the hell out of it.