Out for the Summer

Monday, May 30, 2016

This was the first day of summer break. Just let that sink in for a minute...

(sorrynotsorry for using this picture!)

I spent the weekend writing various things - a speech for graduation, my very last essay for the Circe apprenticeship, aaalllllll of my progress reports. Which meant that I could actually FEEL like today was the first day of summer break, with nothing hanging over my head and nothing to write but a run-on, rambling little blog post here. Do the things I feel like saying necessarily go together? Maybe! Probably not. I'm okay with that.

Tristan is four months old today, which always seems like such a milestone. Not only did he devour his first helping of cereal for dinner, but we spent the afternoon moving things around so he could start sleeping in his crib tonight. In the room he's going to share with Avalon from now on. Not two feet away from my face anymore. My bedroom looks crazy empty now that it's not all crowded with baby gear, and I keep obsessively checking the video monitor to make sure he's okay.

He's fine.

It's just different. A relief, but different all the same. Which is basically how I feel about the school year being over. No more teaching-while-juggling-a-baby, which was amazing and difficult. No more of our seniors, who drove us insane but stole our hearts. No more Circe apprenticeship assignments and webinars, which were hard to fit into my schedule but usually the highlights of my week. No more of what was, in my opinion, one of the hardest school years we've had. It's been almost exactly a year since I found out I was pregnant with Tristan, and I have been more sick and more exhausted in this past year than I would have thought possible. I mean, WORTH IT, hello!

But this year has not been easy by any stretch of the imagination. The upper school spent the last day of school at the zoo (hence the kangaroo picture!) and there is a baby gorilla there who is just Tristan's size. Tristan was asleep in his sling when I went up to check out the baby, but he caught the mama gorilla's eye anyway. She came over to get a better look, then picked up her baby to show me, and we had a whole conversation about motherhood. We did, really. First and foremost we agreed that the babies were perfect and wonderful and probably the cutest things in the whole world. But also... "I feel you, mama. It's amazing, but it's hard, huh?" I said. And she looked me in the eyes and leaned her forehead on the glass by my face and heaved a great big sigh. You can ask Aaron, if you don't believe me, he saw the whole thing. It was a MOMENT.

And even though the year, and especially the last half of the semester, has been so hard, it's been amazing. I've always thought that there are so many benefits to having teens and babies in close quarters with one another. I think they get too separated and distanced for the most part. The students were endlessly fascinated with Tristan, he sparked so many questions and observations and plans for, "someday when I have a kid..." It was just beautiful.
He didn't mind having so many friends to play with all day, either.

Now it's all done with and these guys have graduated.

They can...fly free.

(Still not sorry!!)

In the Home Stretch

Sunday, May 15, 2016

It always feels like the school year is officially winding down as soon as the upper school play is over. Which obviously, there's only two weeks left, but it doesn't FEEL that way until the minute the play ends. 

We did The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe this year, and experimented with having a smaller cast. In the past we've had every.single.student onstage. This year it was just kids who hadn't been in a Flint play yet (you have to do at least one!) and kids who signed up for it because they've caught the theatre bug. Plus one alum who was shanghaied into the role of Mr. Tumnus ten minutes before the show started because the poor guy who had the part had to go to the ER with terrible stomach pain (which fortunately was not appendicitis after all!) ...and because the costume fit him. AND because he was a wonderfully good sport, as Flint grads tend to be.

I am so crazy proud of these kids! They rolled with a last-minute cast change, technical difficulties, forgotten lines, and were absolutely darling. Just look at them!

I had much less to do than usual for costumes because there was a smaller cast, for one thing, and for another because we got to borrow all of the animal and evil army costumes from a different company. The stuff I had to make was all either vintage or fairy tale, which is fun to play around with (although I did discover that we can add "making a centaur costume out of pool noodles and duct tape" to the List of Things Nicole Absolutely Cannot Do. Which was already an awfully long list, full of gems such as "tell left from right without stopping to think about it" and "make any recipe where you have to caramelize sugar") And I was still totally worn out! But it was worth it, as always. I love these adorable goobers!

Hopefully everyone else got to recover by spending the weekend in Super Extra Lazy Mode like we did. So! Much! Napping! happened over here the past few days. I mean, we did a little bit of:

And some chores, or whatever, but mostly we did a lot of:

Which was awesome. So now we're all ready and powered up for the last two weeks of school! 
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