As soon as I submit grades, I’m outta here! I haven’t been home for six months, and that’s too long when you have a nephew who is quickly outgrowing his toddler status. We used to talk on the phone at least once a week. Now, because of their new living situation, I’ve only talked to him about twice in the last two months. I know he will be shy at first, but I’m hoping we can quickly move past that and have a great time together. I’ll come bearing a few gifts. I even downloaded a few apps for three-year olds–even though I never use apps myself.
Although I am looking forward to the break, I’m not sure what it will be like when I go home to visit family. It is hard to admit because it is private, but things have been difficult at home. It might just be that I’ve been gone for awhile, and so I start to worry about everyone’s wellbeing. Or, it could also be that my worries are accurate, and my loved ones are, indeed, struggling. It can be hard to walk into their dynamic after being gone for six months, and that makes me sad. I used to be such an integral part of that dynamic. When I lived in Washington, I was never gone for more than three or four months at a time. Now that I live further away, I can’t come home as frequently. Mostly, I worry that my nephew needs me. I worry that he will have a hard time remembering me. Obviously, I worry about a lot of things.
I am ready for a break, though. It’s been a really difficult summer semester. I’ve taught two new course preps (with relatively little prep time), and had to fill two hours of instruction, five days a week with quality content. In hindsight, I can see that I overcompensated and talked too much in class this semester. It was more than a little challenging. Add an unnecessarily stressful work project on top of that, and you’ve got a person (me), who is more than ready to hit the road.
In the next few days, I’ll do my best to frantically grade portfolios, calculate grades, pack, and kiss my guy goodbye for a little while in hopes that he’ll keep my plants alive. My time at home is always rejuvenating. There are gardens to weed, raspberries, sheep to shear, chores to do, nephews to kiss, food to prepare, and family to enjoy it with–all things I love. When I get back, I hope to have a gazillion pictures to post.