Lori Curley: Many people are drawn to teaching because they get the summers off -- but for me, "off" is "on."
At 6:00 AM in September, I get to take a shower, make some lunches, throw frozen waffles in the toaster, yell "Time to get up!" and leave the house. Whereas at 6:00 AM in July, I get up, drive my husband to the train station and return to the kitchen, which becomes my holding cell. By about noon, I have fed my own groggy-eyed children and half the kids on the street who were summoned by text. ("Hvng pcaks. Come now.")
The kids appreciate my being there, measuring and stirring, so I don't mind that I don't get a shower until -- well, sometimes not at all. That's because, since I am "free," my husband -- who usually walks home from the train during the school year -- asks me to pick him so late and with such irregularity that I cannot find the time for a decent shower.
Another bonus of being "free" all summer is errand-running in the middle of the day. This is a treat, because I get to avoid the rushing-around work-mommies who, cell phone to ear, set up blockades all over the market -- a la a game of Parcheesi, a game I always hated and lost -- which puts me in a foul mood on many levels. The middle of the day has its own set of obstacles, though. More often than not, I end up in line behind the other creatures of leisure: senior citizens. These kind people, whom I respect dearly and whom I will join sooner than I think, are great for chatting but notorious for using exact change, which they keep in purses within purses with zipped compartments. They remind me of Penn and Teller, who are also charming and more pleasant than the walking Parcheesi pieces, but who might also slow down a line at CVS.
The kitchen sink drives me nuts. September through June, I barely give it a thought, but July through August, the sink (and the counters surrounding the sink) are deep with glasses, bowls, plates, knives, pots, bowls and more bowls. Only Dr. Seuss' "Cat in the Hat" kitchen looks worse. I did not know that my kids ate so much, or had so many friends who ate so much. This may explain why every year the middle school lets a teacher go and hires more cafeteria staff.
I would write more, but duty calls. My daughter's friend needs another pancake.