May 30, 2011

For all of you faithful readers out there who have ever had school age children, I’m sure you know exactly what constitutes a mayheminous May. I personally have survived 21 of them, or more accurately 20 4/5. For those of us with children in the Gail Frederick School of Dance recital, the mayhem of May does not end until recital is over, which most years is not until the first weekend in June.

I cannot, at this present moment, imagine what May will look like next year when I have no children of my own in public school, with all the awards assemblies and banquets, field trips to go on and/or pay for and the end of year parties at school and at church. Add birthday celebrations and big games in the spring sports and final projects and exams requiring stressed out high-schoolers to spend late nights and early mornings working hard while we parents hide away in a locked room to avoid head on collisions with our precious grumbling masses of hysteria, and you’ve got yourself more exhaustion and frayed nerves than Santa could ever imagine generating in December.

But now here I am at the end of my last mayheminous May. We’ve made it through our youngest daughter’s graduation, with only the dance recital left. Part of me feels like breaking into a jig myself, but that would possibly cause the rapture that didn’t happen last week to occur–God in his merciful sovereignty wouldn’t allow such a tormentuous sight to befall the good people of Corbin.

I feel like I’ve finally graduated myself after four times through each grade, and I must say, that thrills my tired soul! No more Indian dioramas to help create! No more insects to help collect and display in creative scenarios for extra credit! No more groaning over Algebra and Calculus! No more last minute runs to Walmart for poster board, glitter, fabric, shoes, wigs, tarps, construction paper, veggie trays, chips, hair goo or magazines for forgotten projects, costumes or parties! No more lung capacity measuring contraptions to help build! No more Storybook Christmas costumes or sets to help make! No more school lunch money to keep up with!! No more fundraisers!!!

On the flip side, at least on a regular basis, there will also be no more last minute wardrobe dilemmas to solve or late night friendship issues to discuss. No more dress up photo shoots or makeover parties. No more shopping for prom, church youth trips or back-to-school necessities. No more hysterical giggling with goofy girls. No more nightly back scratches and tickles. And after this coming week, no more trying to figure out how to get too much or too little hair into an acceptable style for a ballerina.


Right now I can’t imagine how anything to come could ever give me as much joy as the last 26 years of mothering my girls has, but then, there were plenty of times when I was in the midst of all that parental business that I didn’t realize how joyous those times were. Funny how the good times don’t always look so good while they’re happening.

Once I get over this farewell to what has been my life for so long, maybe I’ll find some new joys out there yet to be experienced. I hear grandchildren can be pretty exciting! And there’s always the husband. Perhaps we’ll go on a salamander expedition together. It’s for sure we won’t be reading classic literature to each other. That will have to be my own solitary pursuit.

In the meantime, we have four more years of college to get through and hopefully a couple more weddings at some point, and I still have my other family to keep me hopping as a nanny. Whatever awaits, I plan to thank God for every day and look for the joy while I’m in the middle of it! Remind me that I said that, please!