May is a weird month. It’s almost summer but not quite. You get these bouts of hot as hell temps and then out of nowhere a cold snap. April was all about Spring, Easter, and prom. Mother’s got their day and then boom everywhere you turn it’s Graduation. The whole end of the school year/graduation thing always makes me a bit emo. Even before I had kids, May always filled me with wistful reflection and a twinge of regret.
The first cases of final days of school hit my Facebook page this morning. It was a countdown. A friend in another town announced only 6 days of school left. Another friend and a family member from another state have been posting about final high school celebrations for their respective children. I don’t know about you but when I hear about these kids graduating I immediately think of my high school graduation. I remember being filled with so much hope and possibility. I remember believing I could accomplish anything. I can’t help but wonder, do kids still feel that way when they graduate high school? I’ll admit I didn’t feel that way when I graduated from college. I only remember feeling relief that this phase was behind me and I could get on with my real life, my purpose. This is where that twinge of regret comes in. If I could go back and talk to 22 year old me, I would have a lot to say.
My youngest will finish elementary school in 16 days. This is where I am wistful. I know the days of cute hand painted do-dads, self-portraits, and funny Mad-Lib like fill in the blank stories are almost over. There will be no more field days and endless random requests for volunteers. Oh sure, I’ll be asked to help in middle school but mostly all they want is your money and for you to stay out of their hair. And, there is the whole ‘Please Mom don’t come to school to volunteer. It embarrasses me.’ thing. And, though I bitch about endless ask, I’m happy to do it and will be sad when that opportunity has passed. This year, every time the call has gone out for parental help I’ve said yes. I haven’t admitted this to anyone yet but I think it was more for me than her. I’m excited about the next phase but I can see true childhood coming to a close for both of my kids. It makes me indescribably sad but you can bet your sweet ass I’m painting on a happy face for my kids.
So, as we approach all those lasts of May, I will savor every one of them. I’m stocking up on waterproof mascara. I’m taking pictures for future scrapbooks. I’m looking forward to a low key summer – probably the last one for a while. I’ve planned our vacation around a theme park that will probably not seem cool in a couple of years. I’m preparing myself for the change when school begins again in late August. And, once again, I will feel wistful remembering the smell of new school supplies and the hopes for a new year.
P.S. – Now that we are all wallowing in a funk wishing our kids were little again or that we could reclaim our ‘glory days’ of school, I invite you to laugh your head off watching the video I’m fixing to link. I am in no way affiliated with these people. Like most everyone else, I stumbled upon their stuff. This family is hysterical and real and they perfectly explain via song what we are all thinking. So, without further ado, go watch the Holderness Family sing about May. You’re welcome.