I am willing to trade jobs with you for the next six weeks. I have 7th hour AP seniors and today was the first day in the eighties after a month of rain. I’d rather work in a slaughterhouse. Naked.
What kills me most, I suppose, is that all my students have to do is draw.
They have a full, beautiful sunny afternoon with a room full of great art supplies and instead of drawing, they wander, they sit in the sun, they text on their phones, they Youtube videos, they make up new lyrics to Les Miserables, three of them taught one another to salsa dance.
I get it. They want “real life” to begin, for school to end, for long summer days where they can stay up late and sleep in. The school year, if you ask me, is six weeks too long.
Still . . . free art supplies, giant studio, gouache for God’s sake.
I am a good teacher. For the most part, I am, and I think that is why I keep doing it. I keep doing it because of last week when I saved Richard, or the week before when I saved Courtney. I keep doing it because I get to be a mom too and I really cannot imagine what people who work year round do with their kids in the summer. I keep doing it because I like to order art supplies online. I like opening boxes of new pens.
This is the time of the year, though, where I wonder if maybe I should be doing something else. If my students are happy enough watching Youtube clips and dancing the salsa, maybe it’s time to figure something else out . . . something that comes with air conditioning and lunch.
This is the time of year where if you are a stay-at-home-mom, I hate you. Hate is not a strong enough word. I especially hate you if you have enough money to decorate your house, hire a cleaning person, and play tennis. Stay away from me. I might blow dart your neck (and before everyone starts flooding me with hate mail about how being a mom at home is work, I have done that, and I still say a big fuck you).
My crabbiness is also enhanced in that the perfectly cold, wet weather we have been having has suddenly, overnight, and without warning turned into the Caribbean. If you have skinny arms and skin that does not have bumps and lumps, I hate you. Today and until October 1st, if you can wear a cute tank top and shorts, I hate you. If you have legs as long as yardsticks and tan to a golden buttery hue, I hate you. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.
If you have central air, I hate you.
In the land of the law of attraction, and of how thoughts become things, and how we really “shouldn’t hate” (thanks, Grandma), I will tell you, briefly, how I imagine my life when I close my eyes at night:
I imagine a very white second story studio. There is a back counter with a bowl of lemons on it, next to a coffee pot and a sink. On the back counter is a giant wireless Epson printer and really cute things like envelopes and pens. In the middle of my studio is a large butcher block table for drawing and making prints. It has lots of paper and markers and paint rollers.
The other side of the studio has windows. Sometimes I look out of them, at the moon, and listen to music next to Greta dog. . . or maybe a studio cat. One wall is for canvases, stretched, white, clean, and waiting.
When I am not painting or writing, I can walk down my studio steps through a lovely garden that someone else cares for, to my house, which is always cool and smells like milk and clean linens. I might sink into a giant, cozy, couch (something that has NOT been handed down from my parents) or I might just walk into my own bedroom, where I sleep in a giant bed without children in it. The walls are from Wonderwall and the lights next to the bed project shadows of trees (I saw that on Pinterest, so I know it is possible).
It is a far cry from sleeping with a toddler and a teenager . . . who both kick me in the middle of the night and when I try to get up, I stumble over a toy car and a stuffed rabbit. It is a far cry from the piles of dog shit that are littering the backyard. Still, it’s my dream and when you have senioritis and you are over forty . . . it is an important one.