gratitude-a-thon day 97: May and June

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In May and June, there appear to be less hours in the day. I know it sounds impossible, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.

It’s about to be May. This is when it happens. Time is about to speed up and go faster than pack of cyclists at the Tour de France. And this year, this sci fi time warp thing is going to go even faster and be even crazier. This year Jake graduates from high school. You see the countdown is on. The time we have left with him under our roof is about to end. And we’re all acutely aware of the fact that next year at this time, he will be in sunny California, approximately 2,000 miles and 6 hours away from us.

This is of course what we want, what we hope our kids will be able to do, what we think about  in the middle of the night when they are nursing and we are bleary eyed and psychotic from nights on end without adequate REM sleep. And yet, the poignancy of the moment is bigger in its reality than when Neil Armstrong put his gosh darn foot down on the moon.

But I digress.

Back to the time thing. Ok, so really, this is what happens when May strikes. Time is actually reduced in some totally and completely other worldly way. First of all, there are the “end of year” events. When the kids were younger, there was a celebratory picnic for everything they did.  EVERYTHING THEY DID. It was like if you walked by the fountain in the cafeteria, there would be a picnic. PICNICS. PICNICS. AND MORE PICNICS. Festive, but endless, tedious and exhausting. And, most importantly, TIME STEALING. Then there are all the spring sports. We barely had a family dinner that did not consist of pizza at 8:00 during May and June for the entirety of my children’s youth. I mean how do you show up at a game, or two games, AND cook a meal. You don’t. And I decided, early on,  showing up at the game was a far better use of my time. And then, there’s the weather. For some reason, the spring, the GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS SPRING, WHICH I LOVE LIKE A BIG HUNK OF CHEESE, speeds up the proceedings, making May and June whiz by like the now defunct Concorde. Add weddings and graduations, a couple significant birthdays, and you’ve got yourself a a few months that feel like a few days.

I know it’s all perception. I know that May and June do not really go faster than the rest of the year, but they feel like they do, and as I get older, I see sometimes that’s all that really matters. This year there will be a lot of graduation parties, and my close friend’s 50th, and athletic celebrations, and I’m working on a large scale party for after the prom, and we will have relatives from out of state come for graduation (which you know, means I will have to clean and cook a lot), and I am trying to figure out how to create a meaningful album to send Jake to college with that reminds him of where he came from, and oh yeah, I’ll be fitting work in there somewhere.

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Here he is on his way to school (dressed up because of lacrosse). I like this photo because somehow it reminds me of him as a little kid. Which he most definitely is not any longer.

Anyway, this May feels like a bit of a magic time, although rather chaotic, and much like a long race that you’ve trained a lifetime for, and that you are finally in the last leg of. This May I will have to prevent myself from sobbing at all the end of year festivities. Jake is not dying, but the end of something is. The end of our time with him in his messy (this is the absolute understatement of the year) room is waning. The beauty of him flying off to sunnier pastures is thrilling and exciting and absolutely unbelievable. And it’s making me hold close all the Mays and Junes we’ve had with him as he’s grown up. I’m grateful to be aware of this window. I’m going to try and slow it down. Take it in. And enjoy the picnic.

6 Replies to “gratitude-a-thon day 97: May and June”

  1. I felt as if my heart stopped when I looked at that picture of Jake. “Oh, Jake,” was all I could murmur. I could only think of his baby pictures and how it seems impossible that he’s that big and that incredibly handsome and heading off to college. How is it 18 years later, Toni? Please do enjoy the picnic. Just don’t bring anything with mayo – it spoils in the sun. xoxox

  2. This is a very poignant piece, and I have already been through the spring and then the departure twice before!

  3. (my comment didn’t post, so I’m re-commenting)

    I couldn’t read this on Monday because I was afraid I would become a sobbing mess at work. And now I’m just a mess at home. I couldn’t agree with you more about this fuckin’ time thing. And I prefer the picnic metaphor over anything related to leaving, flying, moving. Just sitting and enjoying. and breathing.

    1. thanks, karen. it happens in the flick of a match. you’ll see. you don’t believe it, but it does. and all we can do is try to be in the day. that’s it, right? xo

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