First, the complaint.
Our students get out on Thursday, good for them! I’ve been flooded with late work being turned in because, starting in April, we said “do it now or in summer school”. Our summer school list was released on Friday and kids freaked out. “What? You can’t do this to me! I had *insert excuse here* to do!”
So, now that they’ve turned it in, my email box is full of “I’ve turned this in and it’s still on the late work list!” The remainder of this blog will explain why your late work is not my emergency! 🙂
So, last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to go with my father and the Cedar Valley Honor Flight crew to Washington DC. He was in Vietnam during 1966-67, and asked me a while back if I’d consider going with him. I’m so glad that I did! Here we are at World War II Memorial.
I’m not sure what my expectations were, going on an adventure like this, but they were certainly met! We had a great time and I listened a lot! He shared stories I’d never heard before, talked of old friends lost in Vietnam, and just opened up more than ever before. We saw the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, the Women’s Memorial, and the Air Force Memorial!
The best parts for me: seeing my Dad’s reaction when students and young adults came up to him, shook his hand, and said “Thank you for your service.” He was just stunned this happened all over because it didn’t happen in 1967! Flying home from a fort in Washington state, he had to have a “handler” with him as soldiers were being attacked in the airports. The only person waiting for him when he came home from Vietnam was Mom. When we got back to the Waterloo Airport, I’d guess there were 300 – 400 people waiting, which is my other favorite part. The look on his face when he walked through the door into terminal was priceless. It was all I could do to keep from tearing up as he shook hand with other Vietnam vets, friends, and total strangers. It was an totally amazing experience, one that I will cherish!
So, we get back late Tuesday after an emotionally draining day, so I get to recharge, right?
Friday, our youngest daughter graduated from high school.
Another emotionally draining experience because we’ve been building towards this day for a LOOONNNGGG time! She’s had senioritis since the age of 8 and while I love her smile and attitude, she’s got some growing up to do this summer. That aside, the ceremony was good, the class as a whole well behaved, and when we were done, I got my wife and oldest out for ice cream? The youngest ditched us in favor of some friends.
So, I got to relax the weekend and get ready for the following week, get grades done all all that, right?
Sunday, the warmest day of the year, we had the youngest’s graduation party. Again, this has been a huge stressor because the last time we had a graduation party, I was recovering from cancer surgery, so we had help all over. This time, not so much. 😦 However, we made it happen, and the afternoon was a great one, a family reunion of sorts with old neighbors, friends, and family members, and descending on our house for a pasta bar, fruit salad, and Hawkeye (yellow and black marbled) cupcakes! Everything slipped into place and the afternoon was one of celebration and reflection because my in-laws and our music teacher had passed away, and missing them was difficult. I have to believe they were smiling because the weather was bearable, the company was outstanding, and we had a ball.
So, I sit here Tuesday afternoon, emotions spend and a little bit raw, kids are gone because of heat, just wondering where life will go from here. We’ve got all this nonsense, school and personal, planned for our summer, and then they’ll be gone. I had an acquaintance tell me not to be too nostalgic because the twenty years that our daughters have been alive lead to a better 20. That’s easy for her to say because she doesn’t have kids, didn’t watch them laugh and cry and celebrate and sob and all those emotions in between. I love my daughters, and will miss them when they are gone and I think nostalgia is exactly what this time in my life needs.
However, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is calling my name. I’ll miss the swim and cross country meets, but I’ll have my Saturdays back, my weekends.
So, we go into summer emotionally drained, a month full of uncertainly. Why should summer be different than the regular school year, right?