May is hard, y’all. It’s just a hard time of year. With the end of the school year parties, summer preparations, confirmations, first communions, and for us, two kid birthdays, it’s a busy, busy time. Last year we added to all of this with a graduation in our family, and things were so crazy that my sweet end-of-May birthday girl didn’t even get a party to celebrate her day. Major mom fail. (Not to worry, though – we made up for it this year with a huge Valentine Tea Party blowout.) Every year, I tell myself it will be better, but then I get into it, and my time – and my attitude – get away from me. As evidenced by this charming meme I posted on Facebook yesterday.
Yeah, mildly funny, and it was what I was feeling in the moment, but not exactly the joy-in-the-journey attitude I want to be cultivating within myself. So I woke up this morning with a new attitude (hopefully), and began thinking about all the GOOD things about the Month of May. I came up with 7. Of course.
This is my inaugural 7 Quick Takes with Kelly over at This Ain’t the Lyceum.
- May is the Month of Mary. We have to start with Mary, Our Mother. Of course. Because she’s awesome, and she deserves to be at the top of the list. She inspires, not just through her example of perfect motherhood, but because she GETS it. She gets ME, in all my hopes and dreams, my tiny quotidian sufferings, my almost-impertinent questions (“how can this BE?”), and my wild, enthusiastic “YES” moments to some of the more crazy things God brings into my life. She gets all of this. And and through it all, I see her looking at me with love and a small smile, which says “Yes. Motherhood. I get it.”
- May is for Moms. I’ll be honest … I don’t really like Mother’s Day. Most years I approach Mother’s Day with a little dread, wondering if I have struck the right balance between dropping hints and being bossy about plans and expectations. I know at some point in the day I will have a tight smile pasted on my face, saying “it’s FINE! Really!” when something goes awry, and I try not to be disappointed when the day does not meet the ideal I have pictured in my head. Which I know it won’t, because that’s the definition of an ideal, “existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality.” BUT … it doesn’t have to be that way. Last year, I decided to forget about MY Mother’s Day, and focus on MY MOTHER instead. After mass, I hit the grocery store to pick up a rotisserie chicken and some fresh tortillas and drove out into the country to surprise my mom with lunch. She was actually surprised, and it was a lot of fun. This year, I won’t be home to surprise my mom, but will be visiting my mother-in-law instead. And I will remind myself to focus on HER Mother’s Day, because come on, she raised the most awesome guy I know.
- May is a beautiful season. If April is the cruelest month, then May might be the sweetest. It’s not quite too hot to live here in Texas, and we may even get some gentle rain, which is always a blessing when cataclysmic drought seems to be always looming. Gardens are in and starting to bloom, the first tiny tomatoes are stolen from the vine, and nothing is yet too crispy or brown from the relentless summer heat. It is a month of hope, when patios are cleaned and prepped for all that outdoor entertaining we resolve to do this year, before the relentless heat and humidity drive us indoors. I savor this mild days, and store them up as memories for the scorching days of August.
- “May the Fourth Be With You.” And with your Spirit. (Haha – Catholic humor.) May 4th has unofficially become Star Wars Day, especially in this house, and it’s a wonderfully nostalgic event, since I grew up with the movies, and my kids love them almost as much as I do. Sometimes we’ll re-watch one of the movies, mix up a little Yoda Soda or have Twin-Sun Toast for breakfast (thanks to this gem), or just talk about Star Wars. And of course watch the trailer for the next movie five more times.
- May is for Cinco de Mayo. I don’t need a specific reason for tacos and margaritas. But it’s nice to have one. So there it is.
- May is about endings and beginnings. May is when the school year finally winds down. Even for those of us who homeschool sorta-year-round, it is a time to mark completion and achievements. And in this day and age, we mark those times with a SignUpGenius list and an Evite. It seems every sport, every lesson, and every curricular activity has a tournament, recital, ceremony or celebration, and every one of those events requires a dozen cupcakes or tray of gluten-free brownies. Add a particular milestone, like graduation, and things really get out of control. And I AM complaining. But I shouldn’t be. Gathering to celebrate is important. It strengthens and sustains the bonds of the tiny communities with build all year. Even if it seems like a burden to us moms, it’s essential for teaching our children that this is what we do – we work and then we celebrate, again and again. And sometimes, when siblings graduate or activities end or family friends move away, and we show our kids that we celebrate endings as well. It is good preparation for life. It IS life.
- May is a wonderful time in the Church. May is typically when we finish up the Easter season, and remember all the joys of our living God. Depending on the liturgical calendar for the year, May might include Ascension Thursday, Pentecost, or Trinity Sunday, and some years all three might fall within May. While many Christian denominations celebrate Easter as the pinnacle of the church year, the Catholic tradition is to treat Easter as the BEGINNING, and celebrate for a season through the Ascension and Pentecost, commemorating the initiation of the Church. Just another of the wonderful things I love about being Catholic.
So a lot of good reasons to be grateful for the month of May. And in this year, 2017, it’s especially great because it’s the 100th anniversary of the miracles at Fatima. But more on that later.