Monday, March 28, 2016

I'm Not Gonna Count and You Can't Make Me
Last night, one of my teacher friends posted a countdown on Facebook -- 47 days left in the school year. When I was working as a school counselor, I used to have similar countdowns. They started at different times of year, depending on the kind of year I was having.

This year is different. This year, I'm not about the countdown. In fact, I'm countdown-avoidant.

It's not because I'm retired from public school teaching, although that certainly is a factor. The bigger factor, though, is that the countdown of school days now represents something completely different.

The number of days remaining in my daughter's high school career.

I know it's coming, and I'm excited for her. We've embraced the college search and decision-making process, if not the paperwork. She's chosen a school I think she'll love, and I think we'll love visiting. The future looks rosy.

It also looks far away, both in terms of time and distance, and there's a part of me that wants to keep it that way.

I don't (really) want to keep her here forever. I know she's ready for this next step, and some days, so am I.

Photo: Sbraukman via Morguefile
But I'm not ready for the countdown. Not yet. This school year, not all days are created equal. Some are the days we just get through (today, a snow make-up day, being a notable example), others, days we cherish. Though I need to have a running calendar in my head to keep up with everything that's on the horizon, I'm not ready to put a big, red X on any of the days because each one of those red letters takes me one step closer to a launch I'm still preparing for.

So I'll keep track of the days, but I won't count them. I'll celebrate the milestones, but some days, I'll deny the path they're marking out because I'm not quite ready to follow it. By the end of the summer -- the days we don't count -- I'll be ready. I'll have to be.

But I won't be ready in 47 days.

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