I came home yesterday from an interview for a sub job with Fresno Unified, and Peter was playing Scrabble with my mom. “I could do ‘unpanic,'” he was telling her. “Would you accept that?”
“I would!” I said from the kitchen. “I think that’s a great word. I think I’ll say that next time we’re all going crazy in the car. ‘Let’s just all unpanic, now.’ It’s a very useful word.”
And I think that’s what I’m beginning to do, now, two weeks into our school year. I’m unpanicking. Maybe I didn’t even realize that I was panicking. But now I can feel myself beginning to unpanic. I always knew that moving back to Fresno was like jumping off a cliff. There were so many things we just couldn’t know until we got here. The beginning of the school year was the real moment of truth. Would we land splat on the ground (which often happens when you jump off a cliff) or would we find a way to glide or drift or land in a hay stack and not splat? It was touch and go last week. It felt a bit splat-like. But I’m thinking that we’re coming out of it now, brushing the hay off and discovering that all of our bones are not, after all, broken. We seem to have survived.
Walking to the bus stop with Joseph yesterday he was in pretty good spirits. Although he felt the need to say “I still don’t like school though.” And Peter has complied with his independent study work. And I have 10 music students so far.
Somewhere far away in Portland, someone else is going through all the stuff in what used to be my classroom and is getting things ready for the kids who used to be my students. I will be thinking about them on Tuesday, their first day of school, when I won’t be there. I suppose they’ll just go with the flow. Maybe one of them will ask for me. But they are kind of accustomed to life swirling around them in a confusing mishmash, so they won’t dwell on the fact that I seem to have disappeared. I wish them well.