Tuesday, June 3, 2008

See Ya Later May!

This post and the previous one are my last two columns for The Prairie Times, which didn't make it into print. I figured if they aren't publishing them, I will!

Now that we’ve got a few days of June under our belts and we can really look back and see May for what it was, I have a question for you. Does anyone else think that the month of May has turned into a three-ringed circus? I can’t tell you how many times last month that I uttered, “May is worse that December!” Everyone that I have mentioned this to agrees, May is out of control, leaving most of us feeling that we are barely hanging on long enough to check one more item off our list.

A good friend of mine said that she was complaining about the same thing to her mom, who quickly informed her that this is nothing new – she even had a phrase for it when her kids were young. “Arrgh, May!” she would growl each April as the dreaded month approached. Since my oldest child is in kindergarten, this is the first time I can say that I have really experienced it all; the “last day” celebrations, weeks full of much-deserved teacher appreciation, grandparent’s days, field trips, summer activity registrations, dance recitals and spring activity wrap-ups. Throw in my toddler’s birthday, its related celebrations, a ridiculous high fever virus and ten days of house guests for me and that’s my month in review. All I can say is “Bring on June!”

May gets a bad wrap because we’re all so ready for a change and those lazy days of summer are just plain appealing. I can’t wait for that last day of kindergarten/ preschool/ soccer/ dance/ daisies and all other regularly scheduled activities to come to their natural ends. While they were welcome additions to our growing schedule way back when they began, we need a break from it all and soon. It’s not that we don’t have things on the docket for the summer; we just have less things and new things – both very important adjectives to me during my May days.

Bear with me while I tip toe through imaginary land for a moment. It seems as if the change in schedule will blow through and leave me at ease in comparison to the race around mornings I have each weekday. I look forward to hours at the pool, a nap for one each day and (hopefully) a babysitter one afternoon a week. I can’t wait to stop looking at my watch constantly, cease the repeated glances at my calendar and ditch that feeling that I have forgotten something. (Which I have – I endured tears over my inability to remember to turn in the Field Day t-shirt order form in time.) For now, all those hours to fill up with spontaneous sprinkler runs and park trips seem like a dream come true.

I know that there is probably some fantasy mixed up with my summer plans. When August arrives, I’ve no doubt that I’ll be chomping at the bit for some structure and a schedule. I’m sure those long summer days will eventually lose their shiny newness, leaving me fielding exasperated emissions of the dreaded phrase, “I’m bored.” So for now, I’ll just enjoy being on the cusp of what will be welcomed and relaxing and different. We’ll splash around in the freedom that summer brings for awhile, until it’s time to dive into something new next fall. Maybe I’ll only look at my day timer once a week, who knows – the possibilities are endless.

There’s no better time for living in the moment than summer, especially when the moments seem a little longer and a bit less hectic. Here’s to June (and July and August.) Let’s pick some moments to enjoy!

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