Because it’s a time of endings and beginnings, May is definitely my favorite month of the year. The spring semester ends in May, and we feel exhilarated and celebratory for all the work we’ve accomplished in our classrooms, whether we are teachers or students. Anticipation for summer travel and summer projects is keenly felt. Summer is a time to reconnect with friends and enjoy lengthy family dinners followed by a good game of Shanghai Rummy. (I’m thinking a few games of Feely Cup are in order . . . ) I’m pretty sure my family would say in May, Mary is completely spastic, but I would respond saying, “I’m feeling positively giddy!” (My earworm this week is The Wind by Cat Stevens.)
May is also a time when our college student moves back home. We couldn’t be more excited to move William home from Flagstaff this Saturday (you might recall Eve moved back home at Christmas to finish her degree and save some cash). I’m trying not to be too worried about transporting William’s huge bed and couch to a storage unit three miles from campus in Hubby’s RAV4. I have a strong feeling the Universe will smile upon us and all will go well. If, instead, there is some bad karma to be reckoned with, I will be cleaning the apartment toilets at 10 pm while Hubby is out renting a truck to haul all our crap. I’m trying not to give this move on Saturday much energy, instead focusing on how happy we will be to have William back home for THREE WHOLE MONTHS!!!! With Eve here, too, it’s going to be a crazy, fun summer for sure.
Speaking of having our adult children back home, I wish I could travel back in time two years and slap my “oh pity me” self, who was so super angsty about becoming an Empty Nester. OMG, what a WHINER she was. Apologies all around to whoever had to hear my sad story about how my kids were abandoning me. I’ve hated change my whole life, but once it happens, I’m filled with renewed vigor and vim. (I know it’s usually “vim and vigor,” buy I’m doing a social experiment to see if I can change it.) Hubby and I actually embraced being the only two people in our house (besides the three cats and Ruby the Wonder Spaniel). The house was always clean and quiet, and we never ran out of toilet paper or toothpaste. There were always milk and eggs if we wanted them. After raising three children, it felt extremely civilized (but a little boring).
If I could turn back time, slapping my old pitiful almost-empty-nester self would not be at the top of the list. I would change a thousand things before changing that one thing. At the top of my list of things to change would be being a better student instead of being such a wild child, visiting my grandparents in Illinois more often, being more patient with my children, and appreciating how good my life was even though we had little money.
I’ll wrap up with an interesting story from my classroom today: Our students begin the year at age three, and most of them have reached their fourth birthday now. They are a very social, distracted bunch, so I appreciated when my lead teacher, put in place a strict lunch policy. All children were to stay in their seats “attempting” to eat their lunches until the clock read 11:55. This has been a challenge since our students don’t know if 53 or 59 come before, or after, “55.” Today one boy thought he noticed the clock moving BACKWARDS, and Andrew (wise beyond his years), said, “Time never moves backwards. If any one of you can figure out how to go back in time, you will be the most famous person in the world.” This gave them so much to think about that they quietly finished their sandwiches and fruit, their tiny containers of hummus, applesauce, and yogurt, and went out to recess with full bellies to play.