once upon an innocence, i thought may was just another month. a stretch of days, the ligament, joining april to june.
and then i had a baby. and then that baby turned into a schoolboy. and then, poof, like the wizard with his cloud of smoke and falling stars, i got let in on the big fat lurking secret.
may is nuts. may is crazy. may, people, is madness.
in may, the list of verbs is long: you pant, you spin, you lope. it all gets very blurry.
you bake brownies for the teachers, then you whip up lunch, just in case they’re hungry after eating all the brownies.
you take your seats for recitals. but, oops, first you tear apart the house searching high and low for the gotta-have-it, no-excuses, black regulation belt that is holding in the tails of the blue orchestra shirt, keeping the black orchestra pants from falling to the stage.
did i mention that you sign permission slips, you send in envelopes of cash. you buy the teachers presents, because you love them, and because someone sent out an email demanding double bills–or else.
just this week alone, in the sorry story that is our life, we count: one recital, two concerts, one 8th-grade dance, one high school activities night, one sunday school service project, a baby shower, a bridal shower, soup kitchen, soccer practice, soccer game, t-ball game, bass lesson, carpool at 6:45 in the morning.
oh my. and that is totally not counting the other grownup around here who was in and out of town twice, once by train, once by plane, leaving me to fend for my dizzy whirling self.
ah, but as i can hear my straight-talkin’ sans kiddie friends saying, all together in a mighty chorus, “sorry, sweets, this gig you did sign up for. if you wanted bonbons in may, you shoulda skipped the mating game.”
it’s just that may sneaks up on you. december you expect. it’s the nationally hectic month. no surprises there.
but until they hand you that little wad at the maternity wing, the one they swaddle in a way that you can never do again, and shoosh you out the exit, well, you are clueless.
and you remain clueless (oh, in so many ways) through all the diaper years. but then somewhere around maybe kindergarten, earlier if your sweet thing is precocious, is signed up for every pottery-spinning, folk-tune-humming, shakespeare-at-the-zoo kiddie class under the blazing sun, you find yourself and your calendar slammed in the merry, merry month of end-of-year recitals, start-of-summer sports, and all-purpose winding-down-the-schooldays.
you could run out of ink, trying to keep your calendar appropriately up to snuff.
so there you are, a kindergarten mama, rubbing your sorry brow, trying to make the pounding go away, when you shift your eyes from right to left, make sure the coast is clear, then you lean in, and you whisper to another someone draped in mama-wear.
psst, you ask, by any chance are you spinning in your sleep? is this not the month of never, ever catching breath?
the one in mama-wear, she laughs. she laughs in the way of someone who is clued in, and who realizes that you are not.
she hands you a wad of tissue. she hands you oxygen tank. she slaps you on the angel blade, that little stub where your wing forgot to sprout.
“buck up, mama,” she says, sending you on your way. “june will be here soon. and then it’s only west nile and dehydration you’ll need to fret about. bug spray and water bottles will nip those in the bud.
“it’s just may you must endure.”
before whirling off the chair, diving deep into the day, anyone have a nanosecond to do some typing here? anyone else caught off-guard by the madness that is may? if it would make you feel better, sort of like stripping off the pantyhose that held you in all day, you too can pound your heart out, and tell us every sorry item on your laundry list of things to do. the one with the most things, will win a little prize: a personalized oxygen tank, with a pink nasal cannula. on your mark, get set, start typing…….