Yes. It’s here again. The calendar mocks me, I start getting mail addressed to Mrs. Shannon, I wake at 3 a.m. with the pressure of coming up with an innovative grammar lesson racing through my restless mind. Every year when this time comes around again, I swear to myself that it will be different. That I won’t lose any more sleep fraught with anxiety about hearing an alarm that has three more weeks before signifying my march to the classroom.

It has been the craziest summer in the history of summers. For us, anyway. We moved into my mom’s house at the beginning of the summer, thinking we would be scraping wallpaper and arguing about master bedroom colors with culinary names- butterscotch or maple sugar?- by now. We thought we would perhaps have ironed out a plan for both or at least one of us, to either continue our educations or jump ship and change careers. I thought we would have come to an agreement about when to start a family. If , up until this summer, my life hasn’t been a testament to the fact that nothing goes according to your plan, there’s no mistaking it now.
As it stands right now, I am squinting at the keyboard as I’m typing, considering it is perpetually dark in this dungeon of a basement without a prospect of a new living situation in sight. I am ordering new posters to adorn the classroom walls I half-heartedly wish to return to. I never took the GRE’s as I was supposed to, in order to be prepared to apply to grad schools by their deadlines in November for the spring semester and am currently childless- which, I have to say from my humorous living quarters, perhaps isn’t the worst thing for now. Or it is. I sincerely, officially, have no idea.
Through all the uncertainly, I was blessed with glimmers of hope in the last few months that I am going to hold onto- both literally and figuratively. I just returned from a trip to Nashville that seemed to stoke a dying ember. I went longing to discover if music was something I could put on my hobby list and get on with my real, normal life. Seems I never did like normalcy. Or reality. Going so close to returning to work was a toss-up- it had two effects:it made me want to walk away forever and throw myself into this project that has consumed me- and give it one last go, to make sure my kids know how important it is to follow who God created them to be. I took some sweet Portuguese lessons from a lovely friend, I am close to finishing my goal of 30 pages in one of the two manuscripts I’ve been working on, I learned how to make a three-tiered birthday cake, a raspberry tart and that strawberries freshly picked at the farmer’s market don’t need any help. I learned that I actually like fire-works, and enjoy the beach- not just fake it because Rich loves it. I learned that my sister and I lived through more than I give ourselves credit for, or take into consideration and that in and of itself is a reason to praise our God every day.
Summertime is supposed to be a restful time full of peace. Parts of it were, parts of it weren’t. I think I’m thankful for both.

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