On Friday, I graded my last exam as I hurriedly inhaled a sandwich at my desk. As I began my position in August, it felt like SO MUCH desk time and many office hours compared to my previous teaching days in a high school setting. I thought I’d always be caught-up and that grading would never feel like a push. It hasn’t turned out that way entirely though. Between Writing Center tasks and other odds and ends that come up, it still feels like a push to get all the grading done at the end of the semester. And when that last one was finished? Such a feeling of relief. I am staring at four full weeks of a break, and I’m excited to slow down and do a little bit of nothing and keep whatever pace we feel up to. As always, I can’t help but keep a list of goals in my head and consider all the things that need attention right now – specifically house projects that never happened after the move. But really, they are not essential and whatever gets done will be. Whatever doesn’t, doesn’t. I’m just ready to relax and enjoy the last bit of the year with my little family.
We had a great Thanksgiving, and Jude helped – truly helped – with a few kitchen tasks as I prepared a ton of food for family. He has always loved helping in the kitchen, but recently it really is a true help unlike the “help” a toddler can give. I’ll give him a bowl and a spoon and he can stir something while I move on to another dish. Or the other night we made muffins for his teachers, and he actually portioned out all the muffin liners and the batter on his own. It’s so fun to watch, and he is ridiculously proud when he makes something. I love his interest in food and his genuine desire to help.
We also saw a great production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with some friends at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta last weekend. It was awesome, and I definitely suggest it to anyone with kids in Atlanta. Norah was squirmy as expected, but Jude loved it. I know next year she’ll follow it more closely, and I’d love to make it an annual tradition. We got to follow the production with a workshop making puppets. This snow monster has been played with constantly since, and Jude even wrote “puppets” on his Santa list earlier this week.
Other than that, the last week has been mostly full of Elf on a Shelf shenanigans (so fun this year!) and time spent at home.
I’m looking forward to more of that in the days and weeks to come. Cookie baking, present wrapping, Santa planning, and reflecting on the year that’s passed. There’s so much to enjoy in the Advent season – especially with kids these ages. Magic is so real to them, and it’s a joy to watch.