Typically, I'm exhausted, stressed, and on the verge of some upper respiratory illness by the time winter break finally arrives. But, this year is different. This year I'm feeling really good. I can't quite explain why, but this year I have a skip in my step, a song on my lips, and a smile in my heart.
Of course, work did everything in its power to make this last week challenging for me. I got observed by the principal on Monday and held multiple screenings of the parent volunteer video (how to report suspected sexual harassment, child abuse, or child neglect) on Tuesday. Yeah, it's a real edge of your seat, nail biting thriller of a movie. The parents were unhappy for having to watch it once. I had to watch it five times this week. Wednesday was a double header day; the superintendent of schools did a walk through of our building in the morning, then we had a delightful afternoon listening to young musicians during the winter band, strings, and chorus concert. This all led up to the piece de resistance on Thursday... wait for it...patience is a virtue... an outdoor education field trip, complete with winter canoeing.
|Turns out the fear of hypothermia is enough to keep all the kids |
and adults inside their canoes. Why didn't I think of that last year?!
That's right! Two days before winter break started I took 48 kids and 25 adults to the county's outdoor education facility for some hiking, canoeing, and scientific experimenting. Being a firm believer that you have to get back on the horse after falling off, so to speak, I grabbed an oar and got back out in a canoe with a few first time canoers. However, I may never get in a canoe with another adult again, at least not with any Army personnel. Last year, we had a few parents who were in the Army as canoe instructors and one of them tipped my canoe. This year, we had volunteers from the Navy, which made me feel much safer.
I managed to stay dry on this year's canoeing adventure and if you don't know how big a deal that is, then you need to click here. I took a fair amount of friendly teasing, joking, ribbing, joshing, funning, and jesting from friends, co-workers, family, and my fiance. He repeatedly texted me to stay out of the canoes, away from the dock, the water, and anything else wet on site. All out of love, that much I'm sure of, but everyone else was doing it because they found my swim last year hysterical. I get it. The lady who's been a canoeing instructor for years was in a canoe that tipped. It's funny. I get it. I'm just sick of hearing about it.
My adventures in swimming the previous year did have one pleasant side effect. Every parent on the trip who took kids out canoeing left their smart phones and cameras on the dock this year. Last year, we had five people take an unexpected plunge, which resulted in three phones and two cameras going extinct. Had anyone taken a sudden swim this year, there would have been no loss of electronics. I can't tell you how many parents have ruined cell phones from canoeing and seining accidents in all my years taking this field trip. It was too cold for seining this time. What with it being December and all, walking through the creek in hip waders seemed like a bad idea to the camp muckety mucks.
But, I digress. I'm on winter break for eleven days. Yay!
Of course, we had the usual holiday shuffle back and forth between families on Christmas Day, but the weather cooperated with us, so that wasn't bad at all. I'll write more about our first Christmas together as a couple later, but right now I'm just happy to be relaxing in my living room, watching the snow fall outside, and contemplating what to do with the rest of my winter break.
My Winter Break To-Do List:
1. Catch up on sleep!
2. Do the laundry that has inevitably piled up.
3. Snuggle on the couch with my fiance and look at the tree lights.
4. Enjoy all of my presents.
5. Sleep late as often as possible.
6. Exchange gifts with family and friends.
7. Visit with friends who've come into town for the holidays.
8. Ring in the new year and get a kiss from my fiance at midnight.
10. Clean the house.
11. Grade papers. (It can't be helped and has to be done.)
12. Catch up on my Dr. Who viewing. (I missed the mid-season finale, much to the horror of my nephews.)
13. Make our days merry and bright.
I'm going to enjoy this winter break a whole lot!