Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Welcome, May, you bittersweet month

From Saturday's Briefing:

Dear May,

Welcome! I totally mean it. Mostly.

Every year, I both relish and dread your visit. Every year, I vow to prepare for you, to not let you bring me down. Every year, I survive you, but, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s a rough go.

Let’s peek ahead at what you have in store for us this time around: Open House, band banquet, STAAR and AP exams, solo and ensemble contest, 5K, two Boy Scout camping trips, marching band workshops, storybook parade, class presentations, Field Day and end-of-year parties.

That’s just what you’ve revealed so far. You have a reputation for being surreptitious, adding last-minute celebrations, sneaking in overlapping appointments. You seem determined to test every ounce of my logistical skills, to assess my problem-solving savvy.

Today I have big plans for make-ahead meals, guaranteed to get nutritious, well-balanced weeknight dinners on the table. Check back in a couple of weeks, though, and you may find a menu of grilled cheese sandwiches and sliced apples.

Sweet May, you offer ample opportunities to reflect and to cheer. You also present moments guaranteed to make me weep.

This year, you pack a wallop. It’s the final chapter of elementary school for our family.
For a full decade now, you’ve delivered us Field Day. This time, May, we will bid farewell to beanbag races, water relays and tire rolls. Adieu, three-legged race and Hippity-Hops.

For the final time, my Katie will show off a stack of assembled schoolwork — poetry, clay pot, science brochure — held back for one special night. We’ll take one last Open House photo with her elementary teachers. (Alas, it’s no longer necessary for her teachers to stoop down for the camera.)
She will finish up with recess and Friday morning assemblies, safety patrol and jogging club.

May, you and I have spent a lot of days together. You know that I know that my babies are supposed to grow up, to reach milestones, to move on to the next stage of life. Yet you also know I can be a sentimental, messy mess. That’s why, darling month, I’m relying on you to offer some levity. How about some moments of pure joy, not mingled with bittersweet tears of a momma who irrationally wants time to freeze?

I’ve got my eye on the band banquet for guaranteed, tear-free happiness; It’s a semi-formal affair for students and parents, hosted in the school cafeteria, with catered meal and a dance. There will be no weepy farewells. Plus, I rarely pass up the opportunity to observe teens in their habitat.

When there’s a sliver of break in your plans, how about we fit in the first swim of the season, a visit to the Snow Cone Lady, a neighborhood stroll? Let’s have a movie night at home and a morning to sleep in.

These stolen moments are key, May, to our surviving friendship. I need to bank these spirit-filling memories. Because, let’s face it, this go-round is nothing compared with what you’ve got in store in 2019, the year my first baby will graduate high school.

Oh, dear May, sit a spell. Stay a while. You’re welcome as long as you’d like.

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