The posters are hung, the pencils are sharpened, and the acetaminophen is stocked. Although there isn’t the slightest nip of fall in the air, the calendar confirms that school begins tomorrow here in West Texas.
Elementary Teachers all around my area have laminated, cut, pasted, and labeled until their fingertips bleed.
Although the calendar confirms it, and the preparations have been made, somehow it just hasn’t felt real for me.
I haven’t had the nightmares. Each year I have them. They come to me in the few nights before school begins. The terrifying night terrors of unpreparedness for the first day of school, filled with a room full of uncontrollable children, monsters you might call them. The empty stack of uncopied papers haunts me, the incomplete lesson plan book stares blankly at me. The sheer feeling of panic and inadequateness that accompanies these nightmares almost undoes me.
Despite the early morning alarms, the week long inservice, and the ever growing class list, it hasn’t felt like the beginning of school until last night. Last night I was visited in my dreams by children who are too old for my grade, too many students, not enough desks, and what’s with the boy playing the electric drumset in the middle of the classroom who won’t listen to me screaming at him to stop?
And then there’s my feet. Even without the nightmares, they are the tell-tale sign that it is the start of school. No matter how comfy the tennis shoes are, when you go from sitting around swatting flies all summer to actual work, you just can’t help but catch a little flack from the old dogs.
Nightmares and throbbing feet. There is no more denying that the first day of school is upon me.
Thank goodness for my husband. He’s cooking burgers tonight, bless his heart. My feet are propped mightily on the couch pillows, bless their hearts.
And my dreams tonight will be filled with the longings of foot baths with bubbling hot water and lavender bath salts combined with massaging action in three different intensities. I might even invent an Asian man named Dong who possesses great hands.
What? A girl can dream can’t she?