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How do we survive what ‘Crazy May’ hands us often?

by Denise Dykstra

The author and son Abe

Crazy May arrives like a visitor you have been so looking forward to hanging out with. The fun we will have! The memories we will make!

There may be a little niggling of “remember the last time May visited.” In your excitement for May, you will dismiss it.

It’s May! What can possibly be bad about May’s arrival? Spring will be here! The school year is wrapping up! It’s the cusp of summer and full of unknown delights!

You usher Crazy May in your front door. But it’s a very short time later that you find yourself banging your head on a very penciled up calendar hanging on your wall wondering why on earth you did this to yourself. Again.

Or, at least, that’s my life right now.

I knew I was beginning to slip a little when I couldn’t remember what day it was. I wake up in the morning and listen to the birds sing outside my window. The peaceful sound makes me close my eyes in gratitude for May’s arrival. Then suddenly my mind begins whirling with all the day’s activities and all peace is gone.

I have yet to successfully accomplish all of my day’s activities in May. Not one day has a finished to do list. One would think I would be better at Crazy May’s arrival. I, very clearly, have not learned how to do this yet.

I do try. I really do. But there is no preparing for the craziness of May.

Let me give you an example.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from my youngest.

I knew it was something big because he started the phone call with an overly sweet sounding tone.

“Hello, my mother whom I just love so much. How is your day going? Enjoying the sunshine?”

“I need my GPS to talk to me and I am stuck in traffic. Get to the point,” was my loving response.

“The track meet got moved up in time and I don’t have any of my track stuff so could you bring it to me?”

“Where is it?”

“Well, I am not sure where my track uniform is. My shoes should be in the mud room but if they are not, they may be under a clothes basket in my room.” He pauses. “Wait. Maybe I should just text you this.”

His text read, “Maybe you should just come get me from school at 2:30.”

I drove straight from downtown Portage and I arrived at the school with no time to spare. He hopped in my vehicle. “Yah, I am not sure where anything is and I didn’t think I should make you look for everything. And I really am sorry, I thought the meet started at 4:30.”

And so did I. This is a sign of Crazy May.

Father, Eli and Mom.

I got my son to the track meet on time and cheered him on in his events. When I arrived home, I had another social engagement to deal with. Our high school senior had declared that morning that he didn’t need to go to the Awards Night at school that evening. I had spent the better part of the day trying to convince him to go.

When he walked in the door, I had been thinking of how to convince him to go. He surprised me by saying we had better hurry and eat if we were going to make that senior event.

So in case you are keeping up, we had a forgotten track meet time and missing track items, a track meet, dinner being made, dinner being eaten (it was literally my first meal of the day), and we walked out the door to a Senior Awards Night.

That is not what happened throughout the day. This was what happened from 2:30 in the afternoon to 7:15 that evening.

I know it’s all good things, great things really. I am thrilled to see our third son graduating. Our fourth son is enjoying tack. The senior Awards Night is with so many people I have come to love over the years.

These parents of other graduating seniors are the community we have worked to build and we have a bond that is hard to put into words. I fully appreciate that one of the moms in this group handled my text that read, “Assume I know nothing and just tell me every senior thing I need to know this year.” And she has done a great job helping keep me in the loop. Without community, I would be a much more crazy, forgetful, stressed version of myself. And considering my current state of mind, that is saying something.

Yes, May is crazy. I suggest you tread lightly and offer much grace and support with anyone working in a school or who has a student in school, and anyone especially who has a senior graduating. Tread lightly with us. We are sleep deprived, over stressed and on an emotional roller coaster ride. Our kids, however, seem oblivious and have an hour countdown for when school is done.

And while I just bashed Crazy May, she does bring some delights such as the fact I can write this column to you as I sit on my front porch sipping iced coffee. We are making memories and having adventures. And we’ll recover from May, and even wish we had more time to enjoy its goodness.

Do you find yourself struggling to survive Crazy May or do you have some magic way of dealing with that you can share with us all?

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