As a teacher, summer always comes just at the right time so that I can take a break from the chatter of work. Don’t get me wrong, chatter is good, chatter is great, especially when speaking about kids in the classroom. The energy is rewarding in that students are engaged and excited to learn. To grow. To gain confidence. And to feel safe. To not worry. To embrace themselves. To know they are worthy. And to have a voice. A unique voice that needs to be heard.

That said, I definitely enjoy my summers. I create a schedule that’s not a planned time-frame but rather a loose, relaxing, take it day-by-day lifestyle.

This morning, I woke up three hours later than I would have if I had to go into work. I sipped a hot cup of (black only) coffee while watching Good Morning America. I began writing (again, finally) after six months of nothing noted. I enjoyed a grapefruit before heading out for a walk through the neighboring neighborhood, which is full of foliage and steep hills.

Summer is important because, for me, it is the key to maintaining a calm demeanor. A calm demeanor means protecting my well-being. And protecting my well-being is required for when I return to the classroom for another year of learning and building confidence within my students. Because, what’s better than a very patient teacher?



A house with a pool is a dream, I suppose for many. When looking for a new home, in general, lookie-loos consider a pool in the backyard a lap of luxury. I’d agree, but honestly, for Rudy and I, we just wanted a house to live in, to provide stability for our children. Just a simple house. Something cozy. That’s it. A glistening pool wasn’t our focus when looking at places to settle into.

So, to our surprise, the house where we immediately grabbed hold of each others hand, a secret sign that we had agreed on beforehand, a way to express our interest without saying a word, came to fruition only a few feet within the entryway of the ranch-style home. Both of us just knew without even having toured the place that this house was the one. Our feelings inter-mingled, tingled through our fingertips. And as we stepped into the living room, and the owner pulled back the curtains, there in front of us was a built-in pool, shining brightly through the large windows, set smack-dab in the middle of the backyard. A bonus. Something not looked for, yet there it was. Refreshing luxury to take a lap in.

Our kids were so excited about having a pool in their yard. They’d swim after school, on weekends, with friends, without friends, late at night, early in the day, when they should have been napping, or could have been doing homework. In other words, the pool was their life. Until it wasn’t. One day, after observing them slouching on the couch, on a warm summer afternoon, talking about how boring life is, I made the most obvious statement. “Go swimming.” And that’s when reality hit. “Nah,” the kids replied. So there the pool would sit, day after day, without playmates. So, in a sense, the idea of a pool is awesome. The reality of it is “Whatever.”

One day, the pool guy began the process of draining the water so that he could replace the burnt-out light. The unexpected result? The kids and I discovered a new fascination. An empty pool is pretty cool. And not only for us, but for our two cats as well. As the water level slowly went down, Cassandra curiously stepped down onto the first step, considering if she should take a sip of the chlorinated liquid. When the water was nearly gone, we decided to take a stroll into the depths of the plaster-covered cement. Amazing! Really. We sat in the pool, just feeling its vibe, the huge expanse of it.

pool light

Later that evening, after the light was replaced, and the water began to fill again, I turned on said light, and we sat there, for a second time, inside the pool, amazed by the beauty of it all. The large hole in the ground, the old retro-looking walls, looking super bright, with the illumination of the newly installed light fixture, was worthy of our time. We talked, simply bonding. And then the light blinked off. Automatically.

The following morning, I went out to check the progress of the water level. Higher than the night before, but still low. I crawled into the pool again, this time with Skyler, who seemed to be as in awe as I was. Pools are awesome. Fun. Refreshing. Entertaining. And so on. Yet, now I know, that when the pool is empty, those things simply double in pleasure.