People who have children or work in education know that May rushes by with the excitement level of unmotivated children working on their last school projects of the year. Yep, it’s the end of the school year, and the long, languid days of summer sit just beyond our grasp, waiting for us to shed our sweaters and bake in the sun. However, in May we’re still half-sweatered, trying to keep our minds in the groove of school while the weather teases us with warm days interspersed between cold; thunderstorms shocking us back into the reality that spring isn’t always as sweet as we think it is.
Somehow Andrew and I both managed to get ourselves jobs that culminate in a flood of papers to grade and grades to check and transcripts to send out and graduations to plan while at the same time we parent three children who have the same types of things happening in their lives. We have quintupled the effects of May!
Spring is Still Here
Strangely enough, this May has been pretty easy compared to some of our past Mays. The first graduation I planned in my job at the college felt like I was planning a royal wedding. So much stress! I could barely keep track of all of the details. By the time those students walked across the stage, I was so exhausted and so happy for them and for myself that I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. Whew! That was done. Every graduation since then has gotten easier, and this year’s graduation felt smooth and comfortable.
Not only that, but my kids are older and manage their own lives pretty well. The two oldest both drive, so there’s no more rushing to get them to school, dropping everything at work to go and pick them up, or waiting in the parking lot for late-night practices to end. Nowadays I just wait at work for the text from Alex saying he’s there to pick me up and take me home. They have busier lives, but they keep their own calendars and keep track of their responsibilities and study for their finals without me reminding them to, and THANK GOODNESS they do all of that!
While it’s nice to have an easier time of it now that I know my job and my kids are older, I don’t think I’m quite at that summer time of life where I can throw my sweaters in a drawer and run into the warmth to have unlimited fun. My kids are teenagers, but they still need me. My job is more familiar, but I still have to do it. I’m not free, but I can see some freedom peeking around the corner at me.
Hannah graduates in a year and Alex the year after that. Emma won’t be too far behind them. I can see how moms might panic, feeling the approaching change of responsibility and not sure what it will mean. It might be tempting to feel like grasping some of their childhoods and pulling them back in or adding responsibilities somewhere in life, just to maintain homeostasis and avoid the stress of change.
Then I think no way! What am I thinking?! That would be like a mom whose baby starts sleeping through the night thinking, Maybe I should wake him up once in a while so my life is really hard. This sleep thing seems wrong. Nope, no one says that. I’m at the time when I can sometimes relax, read a book, write in a blog, and do some things I enjoy instead of rushing around like crazy every May. Once in a while, I see a break in the responsibility and the sun shines through to me.
In the meantime, I have a band parent meeting to attend tonight. Better make supper!