Welcome to May. Before I had children, I thought of May as the time when I could absolutely put away my winter gear and break out the short-sleeved shirts. I could count on days of sunshine to mop up April’s sogginess. I could throw open the windows and breathe the sweet, fresh spring air. And Mother’s Day meant remembering to get stamps for my mom’s card.
After I had children — but before they went to school — I thought of May as the time when I could take the kids to different playgrounds because the weather was beautiful and not too hot. I liked eating dinner out on the patio because the bugs hadn’t moved in yet. The kids loved playing outside, digging in the sandbox or in the dirt of the garden. And Mother’s Day meant that, although I still needed to remember to get stamps for my mom’s card, now I got cards from my own kids.
Now that I have children in school, I think of May as the Hamster Wheel Month. The activities just keep coming and I’m running as fast as I can. At the end of the day, I’m completely zonked, but I still have loads more to do before the next day’s events. Everybody has something going on. Concerts, concerts and more concerts. Sports. Scouting stuff. Teacher Appreciation stuff. Meetings. Finals and placement testing for next year. Field Days. End of the year ceremonies. I know there’s more because my calendar is bursting with all sorts of scribbles. I can barely keep the camera charged in between events. And Mother’s Day has become sort of a time-out day when nothing is scheduled. I can slow the wheel for a second and hop off to catch my breath before the next round. And remember that I forgot to get stamps again. (I’ll call you, Mom!)
Don’t misunderstand me: all of it is fun and exciting and tear-jerking (especially the concerts and special school ceremonies) and I don’t want to miss a minute of it. That’s why I’m spinning as fast as I can on May’s hamster wheel.
I’ll run and run, and things will just keep going faster and faster until wham! The kids are out of school for the summer, the wheel suddenly stops, and I fall off of it, grateful for the momentary stillness.
So let’s stretch out, people — it’s a long month. Get everything nice and loose before we jump on that wheel. Camera’s charged. Full tank of gas in the minivan. Thank-you cupcakes in the oven and laundry’s in the washer. Who’s with me? Let’s go!
How’s your May shaping up?