Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dog Days

My husband and I taught our dog how to ring a bell when she needs to go outside. Over the past five years, this has been both a blessing and a curse.  My dog likes that the bell will get an immediate response, and my husband and I like that we can both be working around the house and still know what the dog is up to. 

Imagine my surprise today when the following scenario happened: 

Dog gets up to ring bell.
I hastily put on shoes, hook up the leash, and take her outside.
Once outside, dog bypasses lawn and heads for the driveway on the side of the house.  She then proceeds to flop down in the middle of the driveway and take a nap by the tomato plants.

She has learned to work the system. 

It’s well-known that Northwest summers don’t officially start until after July 4.  Naturally, today was one of the first really sunny (and kind of warm) days we’ve had this season.  Somehow, my dog knew this and wanted to take advantage of it while she could.  Instead of dragging her back inside, I decided to join her.  We sat in the driveway for a few minutes—her rolling on her back warming her belly and me kicking off my shoes. 

I was reminded in that moment that sometimes it’s important to take a nap in the driveway by the tomatoes, just because you can. 

Teachers tend to run themselves ragged during the school year, giving everything they’ve got to their students and colleagues. I’ve found that even when summer hits, many of us still have a hard time slowing down because we finally have the time to pursue the all of the things that we neglected during the school year (I’m looking at you, Fountas and Pinnell book).  Yes, I believe that summer should be a time to learn, reflect, and plan for the coming year.  I will be the first to admit that I can spend hours researching and constructing instructional units.  However, I’m realizing more and more that it doesn’t have to be about getting everything done all the time. Sometimes it needs to be about taking a walk in the morning. Or reading for an hour of two on the couch.  Or talking with a far-away friend on the phone.

While I’m definitely excited for the possibilities of next year, I know that taking time during the summer to enjoy the moment and recharge my batteries is just as important, if not more. 

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