Sunday, June 29, 2008

It Doesn't Feel Like School Has Been Out a Month

I know you all are thinking that I’ve had a gracious plenty time to post something to the blog since school has been out for a month now. I mean, c’mon, that’s the point of going into education, right? To get those three months off during the summer. My summer vacation is actually just beginning this week. Last week I was at a conference and the two weeks before that I had class. I’ve only had one week off thus far, and I spent it going to probate court and taking care of some of the “business” things. Coming soon to this blog (and soon is a relative term): How to make your spouse’s life easier in the event of your untimely death. Boy, getting all of that stuff straight is no fun.

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend Richland Northeast’s graduation. Since Mike was the athletic director, he normally sat on the stage. In his chair this year they had a football, whistle, and RNE baseball cap. The principal began his address to the graduating class with, “Ice Cold Water!” In unison, the class responded, “Chick-fil-A.” You would have thought it was rehearsed, but none of them knew he was going to do that. I’m sure the folks in the crowd were wondering what in the world was going on! The principal went on and talked about Mike a bit and the importance of relationships in life, one of the things Mike valued so much.

Some of y’all know that with my job I’m part of the South Carolina Reading Initiative. And those of you who didn’t know, well, you know now! We’re a group of literacy coaches from across the state that meet monthly for state study, and we’re also divided into three regions that meet monthly as well. The two weeks I had class this month were for SCRI. A week after Mike passed away in April, my region had their regularly scheduled meeting, but I did not attend because I had not yet returned to work. At that time they took up a collection of money and purchased a large selection of young adult sports-themed novels that are going to be donated to Richland Northeast High School. Inside the front cover of each novel is a label noting that it was given in memory of Mike. They presented the books to me when we were divided by region in class. There are some really awesome titles in the collection including Friday Night Lights and Walter Dean Myers’ latest, Game. It’s tempting to keep a few for my own library, but I will make sure they all make their way to the mighty Cavaliers.

Ava and Savannah are doing well. I’m sure it won’t be much longer and Ava will be wearing her hair in a ponytail. Five years isn’t long, is it? Savannah is able to stand by herself now and will be walking before long. I personally prefer the walking stage over crawling. We’ve had a few thunderstorms over the last few weeks as is typical this time of year. When it started thundering, Ava asked, “What’s that?” To keep her from getting scared, I thought about what we used to say as kids in regards to thunder and told her that it was Daddy bowling. Now, being a literacy coach, I should have known better than to tell her something that she has never seen or heard of. If a child (or any person, for that matter) doesn’t have something to connect new information to, he or she isn’t going to understand it. It’s not as if we watch bowling championships on ESPN around here. Anyway, Ava’s response to me telling her that the thunder was Mike bowling was, “Daddy doesn’t have bowls.” She still doesn’t have a clue what it means to go bowling, but whenever Ava hears thunder now and you ask her what that is, she’ll say, “That’s Daddy’s bowls.” I guess one of my projects over the summer will have to introduce to her to the game of bowling. I’ve played once on a Wii, but I don’t think showing her that way will be quite the same.