The Chicago teachers are on strike right now. They have been for awhile. We are on the 9th day without school. Parents are not happy. They cope with it the best they can, but the ones I have the pleasure to see because I teach their children, are voicing a certain “Fed-upism” about the length of these negotiations. Whether they agree with the union or not is not my point. My point is this: I feel guilty.

I do. It’s not horrible guilt, appease your heart, I don’t think I contorted my face in an ugly grim of remorse. But, I feel guilty nonetheless.

Because my kids are with me and I get to spend time with them. Now, I know that I have half custody and I can spend a lot of time with them already. But this is special time. We steal this time from the school year time. It qualifies as a guilty pleasure. I’m guilty.

So, today, I got up and went for a walk in the woods with my son. We talked about different subjects. It was a dry in the sky and wet on the ground autumn day. Brisk and colorful. We didn’t feel the distance we were covering. A very sweet moment.

Then we had lunch, we took our time to prepare something yummy. Because we have nothing else but time.

Then he went to read. So did I.

And, as the afternoon drew to a close, I gave him his drum lesson (he takes lessons with me). Now, we are about to do a little bit of handy work. Yesterday, we cleaned the gutters of all the dead leaves.

I am waiting now for some news. Normally, right at 4 pm, they announce if the strike will continue. But today, the meeting between parties will be held at 6 pm. So, we are waiting. They might agree to let the children back to school, and that would be a wonderful thing. But they might not, and, in that case, we get to steal another day with the family.