Mom, May Is Coming! Are You Ready?

April is National Poetry Month. In honor of that, I thought I’d try writing a poem. Inspired by the chaotic whirlwind that is the end-of-the-year and a classic children’s poem, I wrote “‘Twas the Week Before May.” I dedicate this to busy mothers everywhere! 

'Twas the Week Before May

‘Twas the Week Before May

‘Twas the week before May, and all through the land
Not a mother was ready for all that was planned.

The schedules were filled with too much to do
As everyone wondered how they’d make it through.

The children were waiting for the year’s end–
Summer vacation they wanted to spend.

With Mom in the minivan, the kids strapped in back,
We braced for May 1 as we would for attack.

As the clock chimed twelve and April turned to May
We dove headlong into the chaotic fray:

Final tests! And projects! And banquets and games!
“Help me,” I cried, lest we go down in flames.

Picnics! Elections! Concerts! And prom!
“I could use some wine to get back my calm.”

Graduation! And board meetings so next year we won’t sweat!
“Tell me, is it Memorial Day yet?”

To the end of the month, to the week, to the day,
Now go away! Go away! Just. Go. Away.

And then in a twinkling, the calendar was clean
Like that! It was over—my month fueled by caffeine.

I sighed a relief and gave a pat on the back
I’d made it through another May Attack.

I spoke not a word, but instead smiled inside
Sanity intact, I swelled with pride.

But my moment was short as I realized, now sober:
I’ll be doing it again in October.

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The First Day of School=Relief

One doesn’t just wander into motherhood as one wanders into a Starbuck’s.

No, becoming a mother is more like the space shuttle re-entering Earth’s atmosphere after a voyage. It’s bold and loud and fast. It’s violent in many ways. It’s a bumpy ride, for sure. It’s a complete reorientation.
It’s life-changing. 
Today I took my five-year-old twins to their first day of kindergarten. I know. Moms in my shoes are sobbing, mourning the loss of their infants. Some are in deep reflection about the preschool years. 
I’m just relieved. 
Sitting here now in the quiet of the house, the adrenaline, anxiety, and blood pressure levels are down. My body is slowly relaxing from the ends of my hair to the tips of my big toes. 
I’m so relieved. 
I’ll confess to you that time and again, I’ve prayed and wondered silently, Really, God? Why did you give me twins? You know I can’t do this job. You know me. You know them. What were you thinking putting the three of us together? Why would you challenge me in this way when I’m clearly not equipped to handle this?
Yet here as I approached this great milestone, God clearly spoke to me recently. As he ordained their teachers for this year, I thanked him. They received the exact teachers I would have picked. God sweetly used their class assignments to demonstrate his love and mercy to me!
God reminded me that, It’s not about you. It’s about them. I have plans for these two young men. You’re just a means to an end. Sure, I’ll grow you in the process, too. But you are way too focused on YOU.
I really needed that shift in perspective. My boys (and my girl) are God’s.
And it’s not about me.
Another reason to feel relieved.  


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I Am Tired, Part 2

“We need just a few more volunteers. Do any of you want to help?”

No, I think. Lady, I’m just here to take pictures and watch and have no responsibility.

I felt like such a cranky b**ch this morning. But for today? I just didn’t want to do anything.

I attended my daughter’s big race at school for one hour this morning. Apparently, the organizers were short-handed on volunteers for lap-counting or they hadn’t scheduled enough people or someone didn’t show or something. Whatever the reason, the lady approached a small group of us moms standing there waiting for the race to start and asked for help.

I didn’t jump at the chance. I didn’t offer to help. I just stood there.

Ordinarily, that’s not my personality at all. I am the volunteer of volunteers. I REALLY enjoy helping. I like being part of a team to do anything. I’m a joiner. I was a member of everything in high school and college (seriously) and held a leadership office in most any organization of which I’ve ever been a part.

(Except organized sports. I don’t have an athletic or competitive bone in my body.)

As this week squeaks to a halt, however, I’m confronted with my limits. I am exhausted. I think I’m a bit over-committed (which is nothing new; I’ve been over-committed since I came out of the womb) and honestly, I don’t know what to do about it.

I guess refusing to help monitor the race was a good place to start? Hmmmm.

Here’s what our week was like (and we aren’t the busiest family by any stretch):

  • Preschool fall festival party-Friday
  • Basketball cheerleading signup-Saturday morning
  • Trick-or-Treating-Saturday night
  • Church-Sunday morning
  • Cruise on the Cumberland River-Sunday afternoon
  • Dinner out with church group-Sunday night
  • Van wouldn’t start and was in the shop for two days
  • Girl scouts meeting-Tuesday night
  • Run to the grocery store for ingredients for school bake sale goods-Tuesday night during GS meeting
  • Bake muffins-Wednesday night
  • Deliver muffins-Thursday morning
  • Spaghetti supper at school-Thursday night
  • Race at school-Friday morning
  • Work, work, work, and work-Thursday night I was up until 1 a.m.

So, Lady At The Race Today, if you ask me to help next year, maybe you’ll catch me at a time when I’m a bit more rested and not so overwhelmed.

Or maybe not.

I think this is one reason why my friend Jennifer chose to homeschool this year.

First Day of Kindergarten

Today my first-born began her school career. Susanna went to Kindergarten.

It was a wonderful day. Chris and I walked her to her class, and she was so eager to begin her day. She was reluctant to even stop at the front door for pictures. “Come on! Let’s go, let’s go!” she said.

She looked adorable in her standard school attire (they don’t call it a “uniform,” per se).

Chris and I stayed for the “Boo Hoo” breakfast, designed to help parents make a clean break from their children.

But I’m not really sad. I’m excited. I have always loved school. It’s crazy, but it’s as if I get to live vicariously through my kids’ school experiences. I love learning new things, having new experiences, and meeting new people. Susanna gets to do all of that now! She has a lifetime ahead of learning and that’s exhilarating to me.

Chris described it well. It’s a feeling of “no turning back.” We’ve hit yet another milestone of parenting. The preschool years have passed.

The absolute highlight of the day: Susanna has her very own locker
with her name posted on the outside.

Susanna and her teacher, Ms. Sullivan. It’s going to be a great year!

Family Picnic at School

Mommy and Susanna

Susanna, Seth, and Spencer attend preschool at Bellevue Presbyterian Church. Today was Family Picnic Day for Susanna’s class. I had lunch with Susanna and her friends outside on the playground.

It was a beautiful day for a picnic!

Grace, Libby, Susanna, and Katherine