Yesterday was my first sick day. It was awful, unpleasant, and all around not how I wanted to spend my day. Headaches and seemingly endless quantities of phlegm and snot kept me company as the school carried on without me. 4 extra hours of sleep, some hot soup and a long walk have left me feeling much better. I guess if you don’t take a day off, your body will take a day off for you.
More important than my own fragility and whining was how thoroughly I was able to rest today.
I have been working on this school since near its inception. For the last 6 months it is all I have been able to think about. Every day, I am in 1960 Bryant for 8-12 hours prepping, lesson planning, building, meeting, talking, and doing all the crazy things it takes to build a school from scratch. Right alongside me every day is Justine, Gever, Ellen, Chane, and Mackenzie, working just as much, just as hard, and often with more grace and intelligence.
Over the last weeks we have grown to trust each other deeply. This is in some way a necessity of our ambition to make something so large from so little. In more important ways this is a result of each individual’s character.
Justine is quiet and reliable. With one foot firmly in the office and one foot firmly on the floor with the kids. She juggles often conflicting responsibilities as easily as most others would drop them.
Ellen is our administrative ninja. Because of her, we opened. Because of her, our budget works. Because of her, we have health insurance. She takes care of things I don’t even know need to happen before I ever find out they might have been a problem.
Gever is the man with a dream and a knack for problem solving. His audacity got us into this most wonderful mess. Daily, weekly, and monthly, it is his audacity that keeps us going.
Chane is calm under fire and undeniably focused on creating an environment that is safe, physically and emotionally, for the kids and the rest of the staff. She knows exactly how to show support and is always there at just the right moment.
Mackenzie is a creative powerhouse who has come up with nearly endless activities for our youngest and oldest alike. Quick on her feet, there is no one on staff better at making improv seem planned. She has an eye on the horizon and helps the rest of us keep our focus just far enough in the future to make sure we create something truly meaningful for the kids.
I had assumed that if I ever took a day off, I would be riddled with endless concerns. How is the school doing? Are the kids having a great time? Did the transitions go well? How wrong I was. I lay in bed, reading, resting and recovering. And whenever a worry popped into my head, it just as quickly faded with the simple sentence: “I am sure they have got it under control.”