Here in Tempe, the schools are out this week. One of my grandsons' school was out on Wednesday. The other's last day was today, and his mother, my daughter-in-law, who is a first-grade teacher, also had her last day today.
We went to pick the school boy up. His mom the teacher would stay a little longer to finish putting away her classroom for the year. Children were lined up for the bus and saying goodbye to each other and their teachers. I saw a few kids who looked like they'd shed a few tears.
Putting away the school year, for a teacher, is such an enormously freeing feeling. My oldest friend, who is also a teacher, has said that she needs to have a day or two to curl into a fetal position and cry, releasing herself, and then the summer can start. I remember--as if it were only yesterday, or two weeks ago!--when I woke up the day after having posted my grades. I checked my online course spaces a little nervously, once, twice--and then, at once, I felt like it was over, it was finished, and everything else could begin.
We got celebratory snacks, played Mario Bros. (you guys, I am the worst.), then went out to dinner. After that, we went to the movie in the park. Everyone was in such a good mood. People chatted throughout. My grandson wanted to discuss the reality--or rather, the non-reality--of mermaids. (The park movie was The Little Mermaid.)
"They would have to breathe underwater forever, and that just wouldn't work," he explained to me, with some intensity.
"What if they had gills, though?" I asked.
"That's not happening," he said. Very decisive. He had issued a science ruling on the matter, and that was that.
Even so, in our little park territory, it was a singalong Little Mermaid. Some of us knew all, or almost all, the words.