I must confess that I haven’t written much as of late (as you have likely noticed) and I feel as though I have failed somehow. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say, rather that I am enjoying the peace of summer, the peace that belongs to a teacher’s family.
For nine months out of the year, our lives are dominated by all that is boarding school. We eat, sleep, and breathe this life. We love it, don’t get me wrong, but we grow weary. It is a challenge to be visible 24-7 to young people who are shaping their lives and personalities and watching every move you make. There is also tremendous pressure to support them academically, socially, athletically, and artistically. I don’t mean from the administration, but from ourselves. We felt called to work at a school where we would be able to help children grow and mature, hopefully in Christ, and go forward to lead productive lives. And we take that calling very seriously.
Anyone who works at a boarding school knows that it’s the little things that count. And if you want to “make” it (because it can drain you faster than almost any job if you and your family aren’t in it 100%), you have to find your own way of connecting with the students and supporting them. As we all pitch in, the needs of over 340 students get met each year at our school. It’s pretty remarkable. For our part, we have particular niches of students we support. The top two are my husband’s advisory and his soccer teams, the Varsity girls garnering much more attention than the JV boys. I support him and them by baking special treats for both groups, writing “happies”, hosting them at our home for meals and fellowship, creating gift bags, celebrating birthdays, and leveraging our boys’ cuteness whenever possible. I love to see them receive our kindness and know we love them. I love to see them embrace our boys as their little brothers. But it’s draining and never ending for 9 months!
Then the summer comes and the pace slows and peace is restored to our home. We cook and begin to eat our meals together at our own table, rather than in the dining hall. We take time to play games with each other, rather than watching our students play games and cheering them on. We have our own friends over for fellowship meals, rather than the students. We take naps. We read books, like Unbroken and A Room with A View. We watch films that have been sitting on our DVR since the last time we got a free HBO weekend (Green Lantern, Captain America, Limitless, The Change-up, The Dilemma, and many, many more). We sleep in until our kids wake us up. We take time to explore the beauty of the mountains that surround us. Did I mention we sleep?
We watch our boys’ faces as we show them new things, like real dinosaur bones and huge airplanes at the Smithsonian or sharks at the National Aquarium. We watch them interact with their grandparents and great grandmothers and find peace in the cycle of things. We plan a birthday trip to a small amusement park for our almost-five-year-old (in 4 days) where he gets to bring a friend. We listen with delight as our Little Monkey learns to say new words and the sweet way in which is says “Pappy” to my father. We revel in all that is our family! This peace of summer is a renewing of our soul. I hope you too find ways to renew your soul this summer!