September is always a whirlwind. The start of a new school year, meetings, lesson planning, room decorating, training sessions etc. As a child, I loved September because it signaled the start of school, cooler weather, and my birthday! Now I just tolerate September.
When your birthday is in September, it never gets celebrated. School has just begun and no one has gotten around to asking, “When’s your birthday?” yet. And since we moved around so much as kids, I was always just in the midst of making school buddies when my birthday came around. A week or two later they’d ask, “So, when’s your birthday?” and I’d say “last week,” and they’d say, “Aw! We missed it? Next year!” but by next year, our family moved somewhere else.
The same as an adult. Only my closest friends know my birthday and we celebrate with a good lunch out. My Mom makes dinner. My sister would get a cake.
A newsletter went out at the start of school listing everyone who had a birthday in September. I had a few co-workers wish me “Happy Birthday!” days in advance. On my actual birthday, i received cards in my mailbox. As I walked into my department meeting, I was greeted with two large mylar balloons, juice, muffins and post-it note presents!
Of course, I then had to walk to my classroom holding the balloons and muffins and my students asked, “Hey, is it your birthday, Ms. O?” and I couldn’t lie. So they followed me down the hall singing “Happy birthday to you…”
Then I walk into my classroom with the balloons and more students join in, “Happy Birthday Ms. O-(muffled mixture of mispronunciations because they don’t even know how to say my name correctly yet, but they’re trying!)”
As class progresses, I notice a boy take a couple of post-it notes and markers and step outside. I think nothing of it as I conference with students and help them with their work. But at the end of class, I open the door to see, “It’s Ms. O’s Birthday Today – Sing to Her” covering my door – each letter of every word on an individual post-it note. The boy has already rushed off to his next class so I can neither scold nor thank him!
The day continued with a training session until 6:30 pm on Project Based Learning. Usually a topic I love, but I had just received a text from hubby stating “We have a reservation for 7:30 tonight. Your parents will watch the kids.”
With my Mom visiting, I figured we would all go out to dinner, but here was the prospect of dinner with my husband…alone! No kids! So I tapped my foot impatiently waiting for the training to end.
“Where are we going?” I asked him as I got ready. He lets out a little laugh. I follow his lead and stick to jeans and a nice shirt and follow him out the door. I turn toward the car but he steers me to continue walking down the street. We’ve moved into a vibrant neighborhood filled with restaurants and shops right outside our door. Not a huge difference from NYC, but definitely smaller, nicer and less crowded.
We walk right up to Muse Paint Bar and realize our reservation is for two paintbrushes and glasses of wine! My husband really shocks me sometimes! No boring dinner where we talk about the kids – we painted amateur versions of Monet’s Water Lilies instead!
It has been fun exploring new sights and I love this school system. But I don’t know if I can call it home yet.