Tuesday, May 15, 2012
If August is a blur, then I must see you a little too clearly. So many things happen that are just the opposite of August: they are not only set in stone, they are also irreplaceable, unchangeable, and quite monumental, if you ask me!
On the last month of the school year, too much is going on! In August, my calendar was empty and waiting to be filled. In May, my calendar is already filled, but now has extra end-of-the-year events to tag on. I looked back on my August post, and it's quite amazing how far we've progressed, how much we've learned, and how quickly this year has gone by.
If you or anyone in your life is in school, then your year is really dictated by the school year. Since my life is run by two school-aged kids, my 'year' is really from the end of August to the beginning of June. Year 2012 is really more specifically 2011 - 2012 or 2012 - 2013. And that is a big difference.
Back in August, my kiddos were just entering a new grade, going into a new classroom, and meeting a new teacher. Everything was unfamiliar, somewhat foreign, and a bit awkward. It took weeks and months to get used to new friends, new routines, new bus experience/route and new work. There were some fears, some tears, some anxiety, and some trepidation. And by trepidation I mean on my part, because we as parents worry about how the kids will fare, since we've all been there and done that, and know what it's like to be in their shoes.
Once comfortable, the later months become much easier, when everything just falls into place all on their own. Finally, in the last month of the school year, the once timid, meek kiddos in August are now accomplished, wise, and at-ease students. They have an entire school year's worth of experience under their belts. They can tell you that they've learned, because they are that much smarter.
In May, along with the regular school year schedule, we place several more items on the calendar. Teacher Appreciation Week; end of school-year field trips; end of music school-year recital, end of school-year Open House; preschool graduation ceremony. These all help celebrate the end of a learning period, where we can look back and see progress, friendships, and confidence made. It is clear that we've made concrete strides.
With the end near, summer comes as a transition reward. I always look forward to summer vacation because it means lots of relaxation, lots of sleeping late days, and lots of no schedule days. Planning things to do for the summer is always fun, too. I have so much in mind to do with the kiddos: we'll do our art/science/writing projects; soak up some sun with outdoor activities, since, well, it is summer; meet up with friends near and far for play dates; cook up a storm in the kitchen, and picnic like that's the only way we eat our meals.
Moreover, May is the time to begin gardening projects, one of my favorite warm weather things. I get to buy and plant annual flowers, vegetables and herbs, and even a few perennial plants. Just thinking about the possibilities is overwhelmingly exciting! The kiddos also begin to be eager beavers about wearing short-sleeves and shorts, and going sockless in sandals and flip flops. This transition period is delightful, because we have yet to feel the prickly heat of the summer, and have yet to be bogged down by having to water those precious things we planted earlier.
So all that end-of-the-school-year stuff on top of two birthdays and Mother's Day makes my May very, very busy. In fact, I look at my calendar and I wince. All those dates filled with writing in black and white that must take place--no ifs, ands, or buts! As much as I couldn't stand to see the blurriness in August, at this point, I'm ready to see the blur of summer again. Yup, I'm fickle that way.
And that's the Way Things Work. Blurs become clear, and clarity blurs yet again. This continuing cycle keeps us moving forward. It keeps us from becoming too content or too assuming; the newness of each beginning keeps us on our toes, while the well-oiled-machine of the end make us proud of our accomplishments. And as they cycle, we continue to ride the Waves of Life, up and down, up and down.
So, May, now that we're halfway through you, I'm seeing as clearly as ever. I cannot believe I'm saying this, but I'm ready to take off my glasses and get a little shut-eye rest come summer. Rest is good. When we feel accomplished, rest is the best.