Samuel J. Tanner 3 minute read

Spring Semester again and again

And just like that, winter break is over. The spring semester is upon us, and I'm ready to get back to teaching.

Listen. I love my family. I love being with my family. Still, I look forward to returning to classrooms in the spring.

I've kept myself busy over the past few weeks. Write a little. Write a lot. Still, I miss the routine of having someplace else to be. The days grow long, the toddlers grow restless, and we could all use an excuse to get out of the house. The boys need preschool. I need something else to to. My wife Katie needs a break from all of us. I'm ready for this winter break to come to an end.

My adolescent or teenage self would never have agreed to the paragraph above. Winter break was bliss, and it felt like death to return to school. My adolescent or teenage self never had to share a house with two toddlers. Lucky guy. He didn't know how good he had it.

Don't get me wrong. I've held onto some of my younger self's attributes and behaviors. I played (and beat) Mass Effect Andromeda over break. The game's a little overwhelming. The side-quests are many, and my OCD compels me to complete them all. Still, I enjoyed defeating the Archon all the same. I also found time to work my way through books 4 and 5 of the Expanse series by James Corey. Pulpy, generic science fiction. It engages me. I can't deny it. Despite these lazy, galactic pursuits, this winter break was always muted by the nagging sensation that toddlers were nearby, demanding some sort of attention.

Don't get me wrong part two: Katie does most of the work of parenting. And the boys gravitate towards her, not me. Katie is the center of their universe. I'm an orbiting moon, at best. Still, I live in their solar systems, and their presence is a constant force. Gravity.

We took the boys sledding last week. There's an enormous hill at a nearby park, and a dusting of snow coated Central Pennsylvania.

An aside: These Pennsylvanians were worked up last week because the temperature hit single digits. I chuckled. After thirty-five years in Minnesota, these Pennsylvanian winters are downright mild. Give me -15 with a windchill of -40, and we can talk about cold.

Anyway, we arrived at the slopes. One thing these Pennsylvanians do have on us? They are used to hills. Mild mountains, even. Me? Not so much. We climbed up the smallest hill at the park, and placed the boys on sleds. We sat with them, and raced down on our slick, plastic slides. Samson rode with me. Solomon with Katie.

Samson was terrified after the first run.

"Super cold, Daddy. Go home. Want Mommy."

Solomon made it down twice with Katie before he was finished.

"Snow in my eyes," he said.

I asked Solomon if he wanted to ride with me.

"No! Mommy!"

Like I wrote, Katie is the center of their universe. They want her to buckle them into their carseats, sled with them, pay attention to them, etc. Always. I'm a nuisance. Hopefully, that'll change as they get older. We'll see, I guess.

Nothing profound to share this week. Just the passing of time. And another season of work begins. I'm looking forward to something new. That's all.