With June comes the promise of freedom. However, this soon to be total freedom creates perhaps the greatest sense of impatience known to student-kind: the pre-summer crazies.
What I’ve discovered in the last two years is that this affliction does not permit itself to avoid the teacherly types. It might even hit us more intensely than the students. We just have the sense to not allow this plague to manifest itself in our attitude towards our peers and students. Instead, we allow it to fester in the quiet voice inside of us that chants melodically, “Ten more days, Nine more days, Eight more days” and so on and so forth. This mocking song is accompanied by images of BBQ’s on a hot afternoon, trips to the lake and mornings spent sleeping in rather than arguing with teenagers.
Oh yes, the plague of June is here.
The advantage of being a substitute teacher, teacher on call, guest teacher or professional classroom manager, whatever you want to call it, is that you can leave this mayhem whenever you please. The disadvantage is that without a steady salary this is hard to justify… unless exciting events to the East of you beckons your name, inviting you to 2 weddings in 2 provinces in 2 weeks.
There is another element of June that makes us teachers a little unbalanced mentally. The question constantly nags away “What will September bring?” As long as we have some form of school in our lives I’m sure the change and uncertainty of September will loom over the crazy of June. I, being at the bottom of the pecking order, aware of my lowly place, cannot help but hope for more permanency next year.
This time last year we knew Robbie was going to be attending U of A and that our new home would be Camrose. I cannot adequately explain the intensity of discovering this great new step in our lives.
I was at Jen and Darren’s when the phone rang. I was a total of 944 km from Robbie who was sitting in front of his computer at work. You generally want to hear such news in at least a 20 km radius of your spouse. I was visiting brand new John Nicholas Friesen. I had to hand him off to Mom or Jen to get the phone not wanting to let go of the sweet chubby little bundle in my arms, but knowing it could be the call, I did so dutifully. And then there was Robbie on the other side of the phone with expectation and tentative joy in his voice. Robbie always reacts this way to his great accomplishments. He is reluctant to celebrate as he doesn’t want to appear to be too excited or too proud.
He told me the fateful news, “Laura, I got accepted. I got accepted to Camrose.” And then the ground fell out from beneath me.
My first thought was, “Where on earth is Camrose anyways?” My second thought was, “This is hard. Things will change again. Now I need to let go of my own dream job.” My third thought was “God is good. He did it!”
I ‘d love to say that I rejoiced in Robbie’s accomplishment first rather than reel from the disappointment of losing my ideal job, but I’m just not Saint enough. The de Fleuriot’s were slated to live in Camrose, but I still had a lovely job offer on the table in Calgary. It was never an option for him not to accept the offer of admission into the Physical Therapy program. We did grapple with the idea of me staying and working in Calgary while he toiled away in Camrose at his studies. I always knew in my heart that we’d both move up further North together, but I still had to seriously consider this challenging choice. I didn’t want an ounce of regret in my decision in case it would tuck itself in some corner of my brain rearing it’s bitter self years down the road.
During this time I could not help but remember the words from the 1st reading of our nuptial mass from the first chapter of Ruth.
“Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God.”
In the end we made the decision to live a financially less stable, but emotionally more secure life.
Once we were set on Camrose I thought of a sweet consolation of this new life we would live. For the 28 months of the program we would stay put. For 2 years and 4 months we would have one address, one place to call home. I held on to this romantic idea and it helped me a lot as I imagined the transition from Calgary to Camrose.
And now I find myself on June 5th, 2012 roughly one year later on the brink of an adventurous summer that takes us all over Canada with a brief stop and refuel in Camrose in late June. I’m looking back at a year where it seems I spent most of my spare time in the passenger seat of our little Honda Civic or getting around by some other mode of transportation on weekends and holidays, traveling from place to place. Never really staying put at all.
And there’s more to come.
Perhaps, this is not the time in my life to value knowing where we will make our home year after year. The frequent changes of the last 2 years has made each of these 737 days of marriage fly by. The change of each September has brought hard things and things of ease. The longer I’m out of my parents house and establishing our own life I wonder whether there will ever be a time, besides my childhood, where things seem to stay the same year after year. There will always be the possibility of new jobs, new opportunities, new endeavors, and the hope of new family members to consider.
I guess I’m lucky if I get 2 weeks, let alone 2 years of some sort of constancy.
So I’ll revel in this last week of work. Maybe I’ll even step back a bit and enjoy the hilarity of the crazies of June, because I may not get to experience them for a while yet. Only God knows.