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Voices from the Backseat

Hooray, Hooray, It's the Last Day of May
May 31, 2017

There are a lot of things I will miss about May:

  • First night sleeping with the windows open

  • First impromptu deck party with the neighbors

  • Daffodils, crocuses, and the tulips that weren't eaten by deer and rabbits

  • Fresh rhubarb & asparagus

  • Return of Vitamin D to my system

This year, however, I am acutely aware of the ever-lengthening list of things I won't miss about May.  In comparing harried notes with the other parents in my circle, it seems that I am not alone.  May is truly the most ridiculous month.  It surpasses even those months that require gift-buying, feast preparation, or costume-acquisition.  It is with a huge sigh of relief that I'll turn over the calendar tonight.

Here's some of the things I won't miss about May:

  • The calendar.  There was literally NOT A SINGLE DAY WITH NOTHING WRITTEN ON IT.  The closest I came was this past Sunday which only had one thing:  "coffee hour at church."  I phoned this one in and picked up a couple dozen donuts on the way in.  I was foiled by the fact that I had actually entered "coffee hour" in error and I DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO DO IT.  May is so ridiculous that it actually seduces me into filling any void with imaginary tasks and appointments.  Every activity, every club, every class has an end-of-the-year celebration/performance/recital/picnic/cotillion.  They are all important in their own right, and if asked there's no way I could choose any one to dispense with.  But taken en's a form of water torture represented by single-folded programs dripped slowly into an accumulating mass in the bottom of my purse.

  • The cake.  Every one of these celebrations is accompanied by a sheet cake.   The kids haven't eaten anything other than frosting with an occasional brownie thrown in the mix for the past 31 days.

  • The tease of summer nights.  It is next to impossible to convince the kids that they need to treat this halcyon evenings as school nights and GET INSIDE and SHOWER EVERY NIGHT.  It is next to impossible to manage the summer piles (grubby socks, miscellaneous neighborhood flip flops, outdoor toys, sidewalk chalk and strewn water bottles)  while simultaneously having to maintain focus on the school year piles (filthy backpacks, barely-held-together folders, lunch bags, instruments).

  • The wardrobe challenges.  The change of seasons is one of the things that I like about living in the midwest.  Sure it's an added burden to have to turn over the closets and dresser drawers twice a year to accommodate the seasons.   Summer into fall is a treat, and I gladly pull out the boots and sweaters, luxuriating in the cable-knittedness of it all.  The shift from winter dressing into spring?  Not so much. The first time I slip on a pair of shorts in the spring is an exercise in mortification, my legs so white that they could be used to signal passing planes.  Everything is just so--EXPOSED.  Ugh.

  • The oh-so ironic fact that Mother's Day is celebrated in May.  I move that we swap out to June, when we can truly breath a sigh of relief and enjoy our breakfast in bed without having to calculate how long it will take to right the residual mess in the kitchen before moving onto the next item on May's agenda.  Who's with me?  Let's leave May to the Father's and take over June.

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