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May: It’s the New December

Ah, Spring. The little robins settle in a nest outside my window. The azaleas explode into bloom. And my calendar nearly implodes under the weight of itself.

It catches me off-guard, every year around this time, how busy things can get as school starts to wind to a close. Every club, every team, every class -- they all prepare for their big end-of-year presentations/banquets/parties. End-of-year school projects come due and big spring dance recitals loom on the near horizon. Deadlines emerge for summer activity sign-ups. In this family, two birthdays pop up, ready to be celebrated and planned for. My scraggly flower beds beg for attention.

It’s all fun, of course -- great fun, actually, since much of it takes place outside in the beautiful weather. But that doesn’t change the nearly manic level of busy-ness I find myself facing, especially since our kid activities are multiplied by four. As I flipped through my calendar last night, a little overwhelmed at the weeks ahead, it occurred to me that the month of May might actually surpass December for schedule craziness, at least in this family. Except without the benefit of all the delicious holiday food, which is probably a good thing, since swimsuit season beckons.

(Oh, rats. Add that one to the list: find a swimsuit.)

I tried to brace myself for the end-of-school-year rush a little better this year. Last year completely blindsided me, so I was determined this year to have my ducks in a row. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks gearing up, planning ahead, trying to make sure all the activity doesn’t get out of control.

In my quest to get it all done, I sat at a stoplight last week, running a thousand things through my head. I was en route to the library to return a book for a school project. One side of my brain was making a shopping list for a birthday party; the other side was mulling through some end-of-year soccer decisions that need to be made. Suddenly I heard a shriek from the back seat.

“LOOK!” screamed my four year old. My eyes darted to see where she pointed.

Her little hand was extended out the open window, directing my attention toward a weedy spot on the median next to our stopped car.

“It’s beautiful,” she sighed. “Just like a marshmallow.”

She was pointing at a dandelion.

I had to smile at her charming observation. She knows what’s lovely about spring (even the weeds are pretty!), and I’m convicted to follow her cue. Some of this planning and busy-ness may be necessary this time of year, but not at the expense of stopping to smell the dandelions.

Ah, Spring.

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