Saturday, June 16, 2007

We Shall Overcome
Maybe we've dreamed too big. No.
Maybe I didn't start working soon enough. Not true.
Perhaps there are days when, simply by coincidence, a lot of things can go wrong. True. Sad, but true. At midnight when Geoff and I were trying to rectify the cake, and after a whole lot of other trouble-shooting, I was tempted to say we were doomed. I am not taking that path. Today's birthday celebration will reflect some of our ambitious efforts, all of our happiness, and will be full of merry making.

School is out! Reminds me of an English class I took as a 5th grader in Guatemala (I was there a month.) The teacher, a woman not opposed to rapping knuckles with the end of a yardstick, was teaching us the seasons in English.

"First is weenter," she pronounced with authority. "Theen it is eh-spring, theen, fall and autumn. Now repeat."

Everyone repeated.

I repeated, but then tentatively I raised my hand, glancing with one eye at her old wooden yardstick standing against her cold metal desk. I asked, "What about summer?"

"Summer ees an American holiday."

And what a holiday it is! Summer solstice is almost a week away, but anyone's summer can begin when school is out, when Coppertone is flowing and grills are glowing, when traffic is beach bound. We cheered aloud when our tires rolled out of the school's parking lot.

But before summer began for our American family, we spent one last day at school, where we celebrated Father's Day with hot dogs and sports. Technically, and literally, I was not supposed to be there. "No moms allowed" read the invitation. Bah! I lurked and I snuck a hot dog and I took lots of pictures. It was nice to end the school year with laughter and last hugs from friends.

How many times have I heard from worn out children, "I hate school." "How many days 'til summer?" "Why can't we just stay home today?" "I don't want to go to school." They didn't utter these phrases every day, but often enough, so I knew they would be thrilled for this golden opportunity to revel in their freedom and recharge their batteries.

Not 1/4 mile from the school Max said, "I don't want school to be over."

Twenty minutes later, he insisted we enroll in computer camp and figure out when he can take math tutoring, and he asked why we had to leave school.

Home, barely recovered from the full day and facing the challenges of preparing for today's party, Max sat with paper and pen and began formulating worksheets for his "School Club." He devised worksheets for Roman numerals, and grammar, and diagramming sentences. While I cooked enchiladas and made salsa he administered math quizzes and tested my knowledge of the parts of language. This is going to be a very long American holiday.

1 comment:

Tarie said...

The sultry Philippine summer is over. A new academic year has just started. I hope you guys have a great summer vacation! I look forward to reading all your summer vacation posts. :)