There’s a Light at the End of the Tunnel. It’s Called SUMMER VACATION.

We are one cold lunch away from being on Summer Vacation.


Unofficially, I’m pretty sure the kids checked out two weeks ago.  I know that I did.  My last PE classes wrapped up with FREE TIME in the gym, which I hate.  There’s nothing worse than eighteen kids running helter skelter and completely uncontrolled, as some tackle scooters, while others kick bouncy balls all over the place.

Dangerous times, people.  It’s best to always have a Game Plan firmly in place once the gym doors close and everyone puts on their sneakers.

But we had Free Time yesterday, for the last official day of PE at the private school where I teach, and let me tell you this one thing:  PE was nothing more glamorous than private investors paying for gymnasium-based babysitting, as I turned the kids loose.

The kindergartners used the gymnastics mats as walls, and they plum built themselves a home, as a good game of House got underway.

Let that sink in.  They played HOUSE.  During gym class.  I don’t think it’s ever been done before.  Obviously, I am a trend-setting PE teacher.

At least the private investors who fund the school can rest peacefully now, knowing that we employed our architectural skills and learned that there are certain configurations with the gymnastics mats which a good home owner’s insurance policy simply will not cover.

And there are other ways to push those mats together that create strong, solid houses like our forefathers built on the prairies.  (In the kitchens of which their wives made butter.  And then showed their sons how to make butter.  Unlike some members of Generation Slacker Mamas.)

Sister told me later yesterday, “So you can list Architect on your resume now.”

Yes.  I can totally do that.  And I can also list Judge, because I had to listen to some property disputes from home owners who complained that others had infringed upon an easement which was apparently NOT legally in place.  That, my friends, is called TRESPASSING, and we’ll have none of it in MY gymnasium!

The older kids played dodgeball yesterday, because apparently when you’re ten years old you WANT to play House and build homes with gymnastics mats, but you don’t want to confess to your FRIENDS that you want to play House, so you simply beg to throw rubber balls at kids on the other side of the dividing black line.

And after umpteen hundred dodgeball games and two good class sessions of Basic Architecture 101 and Fundamentals of Home-Making Skills, I wrapped up the school year and put myself on Summer Vacation.

The poor boy still has to get through tomorrow, though, because legislature apparently thought it would be a great idea to come back after Memorial Day Weekend for another four days.

Four days filled with gym teachers not teaching life skills on how to dodge things that are thrown at you.  Four days filled with movies in the classrooms.  Four days filled with desk cleaning, in-depth reviews of the Lost and Found bin and butter-making.  Four days filled with things like FIELD DAY, which is a teacher’s way of saying, “The sun is shining, and we’re going OUTSIDE, OUTSIDE, OUTSIDE, because I filled the report cards out last week, and we’re running out of photocopied Word Search puzzles to keep us busy.”

By the end of tomorrow afternoon, the boy will be on Summer Vacation, too, and I don’t really want to talk about it, because this means that we only have one more year left of elementary school.  And THAT, people, is enough to make me sit down on my kitchen floor and do the Ugly Cry.

But really?  Summer Vacation might as well be on, because baseball has officially started.  I have been to the ballfield, people.  I have stolen sunflower seeds from my 4th grade pal, Nicole.  I have snapped eighty dozen pictures of boys with bats, and boys with gloves, and boys decked out in full catcher equipment.  I have screeched and cheered and thrown my arms high into the air as boys from the purple team streaked across home plate repeatedly and threw some points onto the electronic scoreboard.

And if all of that doesn’t spell the words SUMMER VACATION, I don’t know what does.

And really?  Our little baseball team is going to ROCK this summer!  They’re loaded with cuteness, and they’re loaded with talent, and they can all spit seeds in the infield as well as the pros can.

The boy batted, and he stared the pitcher down.  (And all the gray haze in a few of these pictures?  Well, people, that happened because I was taking snapshots through the chain link fence.)

Enzo tried a little intimidation toward the pitcher, too, when he stepped into the batter’s box.

The boy spent some time in the outfield, with a mouth full of sunflower seeds and drool dripping down his chin.  4th grade boys cannot spit without flinging it all over themselves.  They TRY to impress 4th grade girls with their spitting abilities, but 4th grade girls rarely take boys with drool on their chins seriously.

Kellen played first base for a while.

Teegan concentrated on getting to second base.  Sometimes a fellow can just concentrate BETTER when he sticks his tongue out a bit.

The boy played catcher for a couple of innings, too.  He really likes playing this position, but this year the catcher’s equipment was made for taller boys.  Since the boy most definitely does NOT fall into THAT category, the shin guards were way too big, and he had a very difficult time walking around.

Oh, yeah.  Summer Vacation is on.  Whether officially or unofficially.  My hoarse voice from all the cheering at the baseball game proves it!

Go, Bats!  We’ll be there to cheer you on all summer long.

And good luck tomorrow, on your very last day of the 4th grade!

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