Monday morning. Spirit week at school/work. Because it was Homecoming week, it was Athletes vs. Mathletes day. The oldest princess had already told me that she wanted to be both, an athlete and a mathlete. In other words, a nerdy athlete. Ooookaaay. Because being one, or the other, would be too easy. But, because she had actually talked to me about this and mentioned that she needed some glasses to pull it off, I was able to pick up some nerd glasses with tape already conveniently on the middle of them from Dollar Tree, when I happened across them while shopping the weekend before. The young prince just wore his old warm-up pants and a sweatshirt and went as the cool athlete that he is. And, it was my mistake to think that I could throw the youngest princess in sweat pants and a sweat shirt and send her off as an athlete as well. It was also my mistake for not checking with her. I forget that she is not little anymore and now has her own opinions when it comes to getting dressed - gone are the days of waking up and picking out an outfit and her just putting it on and going to school. No, she did not want to be an athlete. She wanted to be a nerd! So, seeing how it was Monday morning, and I was trying to get ready myself, we were throwing things together to make her a nerd. I think for the last minute, we did okay. She was happy with the outcome, so I was too. A friend texted to see if we could pick her up at one exit and take her to meet her husband at another exit on the way to the ballgame that afternoon. I let her know of course we could! We took pictures of our nerds, and athletes, and nerdy athletes and headed off to school.
Homecoming week, as all of my teacher friends know, is always very calm, quiet and focused. Or, not! For those of you who are not teachers, let me explain. Trying (notice I used the word "trying") to teach during Homecoming week is something like trying to juggle seven bowling balls, in the back of a truck while traveling 150 mph, on a roller coaster track, in the dark, with a squirrel running laps around you as if you were a tree trunk. And that might be putting it lightly.
So, the week before, which was the week after Halloween. Halloween week being about as easy to "try" to teach in as Homecoming week is. I had implemented a new discipline plan in my classroom. It worked like a jewel (pun intended, as I am using plastic jewels, another great Dollar Tree purchase). And it is a good thing that it was working, because it is one of the things that helped me keep my sanity intact in an otherwise fairly insane week. I really could not have picked a better time to start it.
Did I mention that Homecoming week was also a four day week. And if you teach, you understand. I need say no more. But if you don't teach, please allow me to explain. Teachers do not get excited about four day weeks. No. It just means that we have to work harder to get everything done, that we are usually pushing to get done during five days. And to make it even better, the day we were off was Wednesday. Smack. Dab. in. the. middle. of. the. four. day. already. crazy. Homecoming. week. I could not make this up if I tried.
Not much could make for a more perfect storm. Oh, except that we have three children of our own, one who just cheers, one who cheers and plays basketball, and one who just plays basketball. And they have games and pep rallies and homecoming court, and all sorts outfits and things that go along with those responsibilities.
And, being parents of those students, we have things that we are expected to do, such as concession stand duty and helping with a pre-game meal. I usually sign up to get the concession stand and pre-game meal things done as soon as possible, because if I wait until later in the season, it IS possible that I will get busy with other things and the sweet parents who volunteer to schedule the concession stand would then have to call me and say, "Are you coming? You do remember that you have concession stand duty? And that you were supposed to be here 15 minutes ago?" That would just be awkward for them, and I would not want to EVER put them in that position (again). So I signed up for everything right out of the starting gate. I would be responsible and get my job done quickly, so I would not have the opportunity to forget about it later in the season. Next year I will be responsible and ask what week is Homecoming week and avoid the extra tasks of concession stand and pre-game meal duties AT. ALL. COSTS. Next year. Because I just jumped in planned to do it all. In one week. You guessed it. Homecoming week.
Back to Monday morning. My jewel discipline system is working like a jewel. My kids are focused and on task. Then the door opens. And they are there to take pictures. So everyone gets out of their seats and they pose for pictures, group and individual. Then it is back to normal, for a few minutes, then time for snack. Back to class, back to work. Then one of my students remembers that he needs reeds, and he needs them BEFORE music. His mother and I text back and forth for several minutes. She needs to know what time is music, then she wants to know does he have lunch (their morning was crazy like ours). He says he doesn't, she will bring reeds and lunch...by now, I have lost all semblance of any classroom control. Remind them of jewels, re-gain control, back to work. We get a few minutes of uninterrupted time in before it is time for music. The kids go to music. While my kids were in music, I took the young prince's torn pants down to one of the high school teachers to see if she could work a miracle and fix the torn part before the next day when he would need them. She said she would do it right then. She fixed them. Praise the Lord! What a blessing! I am thankful for sweet friends who jump in to help on the spot. From music, my students go to PE. From PE, they go to lunch. At lunch another friend asks if she and her three children can ride to the game with us that evening. We figure that we will have to double buckle one pair of children, at least until we drop our other friend off at the exit where she is meeting her husband, but we can make it work. The more the merrier! After lunch, we have 2 hours left and 4 1/2 subjects left to cover. We get in there, roll up our sleeves and somehow get it all done. I get them packed up and send them home.
As soon as my students are all safely with their parents, all those riding with us jump in the car and begin our almost 2 hour journey, to watch the oldest princess play basketball. We stop and pick up our friend. Then we stop and let her join her husband further down the interstate. We follow them them rest of the way. They pull into a Subway for dinner, so we follow suit. We were pushed for time and were finishing our meal while walking out the door. The girls were playing across the street at a college. We had no idea where to go once we got on campus, so after driving around a little and several directions via texts from friends, "Go straight." "In the back." "Go over speed bumps." "By the softball fields." we finally found it. The game had already started, but thankfully we had not missed much. Our girls won, and we were excited and proud for them.
We headed home. Just our family. All of our friends had met up with their families and were riding home with them. We knew that the oldest princess needed a dress for Homecoming court, because all of the Seniors were going to be on the court this year. So we took the opportunity to stop on our way home and see if we could find a dress. I think she tried on about 10 dresses, and we finally decided to buy jewelry and embellish one she already had. She also wanted to buy a new pair of shoes to complete the outfit, but that would have to wait until later, as they were calling for customers to make their final purchase and get out so they could close up and go home. We pulled through a drive through and grabbed a snack for the kids and headed home ourselves.
At home, we got into bed thanking the Lord that tomorrow's dress up day was Patriot Day (Red, White, and Blue Day) and that the elementary school students were wearing their chapel clothes, because we were having a special chapel day in honor of Veteran's Day (on Homecoming week, which was a short week, with our out day being in the middle of the week, and now a special chapel thrown in as well...might as well go all out!)