The sun is (usually) shining. The birds are chirping. My tomatoes are growing (woo hoo!). Up and down the street, one can hear the sound of children playing outside.
It must be May.
I don’t need any of that, though. I’d be able to tell by other signs.
For example, Caroline having a nonsensical meltdown because she can’t prepare properly for the third grade’s Mexican fiesta: “MOM!! How can I be the only kid in my school who doesn’t have any Mexican clothes??? It’s SO UNFAIR.”
(Um, because we’re not Mexican, and we’re not going to Mexico any time soon? You don’t have any Russian clothes, either. Duh.)
Or a sign could be Jack, my always-agreeable Jack. The other night I said, “Okay, buddy, time to get in the shower!” He looked at me and said, conversationally, “No.” And went back to playing.
Seriously? YOU are talking back to me? The world’s gone to hell.
Maybe I’d know it’s May because of Whit, who will spend a gorgeous Saturday playing (horribly) in a golf tournament. He then comes home tired and pissed. Really, dude, just go to work. You come home from there tired and pissed, too, and at least you’re getting paid for it.
Maybe I’d know because all my friends are complaining about everything. Really…every friend I’ve seen in the past 48 hours has started a conversation like this: “Can I just TELL you what yesterday was like? First I drove to soccer then I drove to baseball then there was a birthday party then I had to go to the grocery store then my in-laws came in town then I had to return overdue library books then it was Cub Scouts then a Brownie meeting…it was INSANE!” I always expect that litany to end with, “And then I ducked out of the phone booth and fluffed my cape and saved the universe! Bin Laden? Yeah, that was me, with my car keys in one hand and an AK-47 in the other. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.”
(Because that’s truly how we feel, this population of strung-out mothers. Seal Team 6 has got nothing on an efficient mom with a smart phone.)
But the surest sign I have that it’s May is the nagging thought I have when I go for an early morning run and turn onto the sidewalk of a busy street. “If I leaned into the traffic and a car just nicked me…I’d be just a little hurt, maybe a broken leg, no vital organs injured, no internal bleeding…they’d take me to the hospital...I don't have any identification on my body…I could pretend like I have amnesia...no one could find me for say, oh, two days, and I could just lie in bed and relax, all by myself. I wouldn’t be able to volunteer for anything or help anyone or take care of anyone. I wouldn’t have to go to a single meeting or pack a single lunch or do a single spelling quiz. No emails, no phone calls, no errands.” (Come on, admit it. You pretend like I'm nuts, but the idea of hiding out on bedrest is pretty appealing.)
I push the thought away, knowing it’s rather twisted and sick, but it creeps right back in.
When a medically induced coma sounds like a vacation, I know it’s May.
There is something about this month that just sucks the life out of you. The schools are cramming every last possible activity into this month, right when the kids want to put their homework down the garbage disposal and play outside. There are at least 500,000 things that NEED volunteers RIGHT NOW. Or require material donations. Which require me to go to a store. Which is a to-do. Which is already a list so long even Santa feels sorry for me.
Anyone who works in an office is chafing at their four walls, knowing it’s 75 degrees and sunny and they could be golfing/fishing/running/drinking margaritas on a patio. There’s a significant and miserable part of the population, the people who look stoned all the time, so overcome by seasonal allergies that they sneeze on you a lot. Which is gross. And irritating.
Literally, to a person, no one is happy right now.
We’re all just ready. Ready for summer. Ready for that beach trip or camp or s’mores or fireflies. Ready to read, because it’s all repeats on TV during the summer so your nights are wide open. Ready to leave the office early for golfing/fishing/running/drinking margaritas on a patio. I know the kids and I are ready for a change of scenery; we’re all tired of the elementary school. I love the people there but I never intended to sell my soul to them.
Whether you’re a mom or a dad or a single person or a kid, whether you work or stay home (and yes, I know, staying home IS work, trust me, I’m with you on that one), you’re just antsy. We’re all done.
I guess we can’t do a darn thing about it but plow through it. We’ll just have to suck it up now and then get our revenge next month.