Wrapping Up & Winding Down

What happens every May and early June?

Every single person I know is stretched impossibly thin at this time of year–and if you are a parent, it’s particularly acute.

We are–obviously-- in the home stretch of the school year.  This brings great extras: field trips, award nights, book fairs, special visitors, concerts, celebrations, moving up and graduation ceremonies.  “Final” everythings:  assessments, tests, homework, rehearsals, sport practices.

For my own personal family of three kids, over the course of two weeks, we will have:

Eight lacrosse games.
Seven lacrosse practices.
Six early morning bus rides.
Five days of book fair.
Four commitments at the Heifer Stroll.
Three different last days of school.
Two moving-up ceremonies.

And, I think: One tired family!

There was about a decade of my life when my life did not revolve around a school calendar.  While I can remember those days, I also recall that I felt a bit off-kilter.

It seems almost necessary, to qualify in my mind as “normal life”, to have that jubilation as then last day of school finally comes.... and to feel that “settling” into the routine again in September.  

For these last two weeks, I try to remember to “carpe diem”.  I want to live fully in these moments of joy with the kids.

And then, after that last day of school, I like to join them–if only for a day–in feeling that luscious, overwhelming freedom of an entire season spread in front of me, swelled with opportunities to explore.

Ah, but of course, life steps in.  None of us adults live in that feeling of expanse for long.  We have too much reality that seeps in.

So, bring it on, May & June!  Remind us of the thrill of a bus ride with our second grade friends, all the way to the Billings Farm... the nervousness of waiting for your name to be called before you march across the stage to receive a certificate for completing elementary and middle school... the commoradie of playing a sport with all your friends, maybe even scoring a goal... the anticipation of a new book straight off the book fair shelves... the fun of marching in a parade, dressed as a “dairy fairy”... the joy of counting down the days until you can sleep in...

Show us your busy-ness, your end-of-year calendar that has no room left!  Our family is ready for the onslaught...

And we’re awaiting the peace that reigns–for at least a day–when we’ve gotten to the other side!

Jill Stahl Tyler is a parent to three children involved in the local schools.  She firmly believes in all education, and currently sits on the board for the Brattleboro School Endowment and the Brattleboro Town School Board (elementary schools).