Marmee Break, 2013

As a teacher, I adore Christmas break and spring break.  These last two years our school has had a short winter break in February and that is lovely, too.  I completely understand the sentiment behind the plaques, mugs, posters, etc. that proclaim the top three reasons for teaching to be June, July, August.  It is an exhausting job.  Whether any one else believes it or not, even with the breaks, we teachers work as many hours as anyone else–that is why we need them.  But this is not a soap-box post.  I am going on a “Marmee break.”

When I became a grandmother at the ripe old age of 43, I did not wish to be called “Grammy,” or “Granny,” and I certainly had NO desire to be “Meemaw.” My love of literature and flair for the dramatic and romantic led me to the much more acceptable title, “Marmee.” (I have loved Little Woman for as long as I can remember.)  I am Marmee, and my husband is Opah, which, being German, seems much more acceptable than Grandpa.  We actually had a hard time getting him to accept this title because people kept calling him “Oprah” as a tease.  For a while he insisted that the grandchildren would call him “Patriarch,” but that did not pan out since toddlers tend to have a hard time saying it.

Almost twelve years and eight additional grandchildren later, we are “Marmee” and “Opah,” and we are content.  Our latest bundle of joy was born yesterday in Louisville, Kentucky to our youngest daughter and her husband.  I am flying up tomorrow to spend a week with them.  I’ll be helping with the new baby, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and caring for and playing with their two and a half year old twins.  My last Marmee Break came when they were born.  Thankfully, it was summer when our tiny, tiny Blythe was born and spent all those days in the NICU.  God always knows best and His timing is perfect.

Getting things ready so that I could leave school for a week made yesterday crazy.  This is the first grandchild that I saw for the first time over Facebook.  (My oldest daughter gave birth one time in England, but the picture came by email.) I have been in the hospital for the births of five of the nine. I didn’t get to meet Willa, our English baby, until she was six months old, but I got to hold Levi as soon as he got home from the hospital, and Brendan within his first month.  Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will get to snuggle with Evangeline Grace.  God is very good.

Eva 2

I thought I was going to have to drive to Louisville, Kentucky.  That is a long way from the Piedmont of North Carolina.  I have been excited about the impending birth, but nervous about the drive.  My oldest daughter found me a flight, however, for about what it would have cost me to drive.  I am thrilled.  The fact that it involves going through Chicago and Cleveland seems odd, but I am not complaining.

Yesterday I got my lessons plans together, papers printed off, and the whole thing color-coded for the sub.  I walked out of school and left “teacher-me” behind.  It’s not exactly an “into a near-by phone booth” kind of transformation, but it feels a little like that for me.  I can’t wait!  For a whole week I’m going to focus on at least a part of my family, play house, and remember the old days.  I think “Marmee Break” might be the best break of all.

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