It’s May and my Facebook news feed is littered with pictures of graduation and prom, college acceptance letters and mission calls. It’s May and my friends are scrambling to plan parties, organize last family vacations and make it through the final push of school. I know they are frantically scouring their tubs and buying extra paper towels and paper plates to accommodate the crush of visitors driving to their house right now, crunching sunflowers seeds to stay awake. It’s May 2016, which means I’ve been a mother for eighteen years. It’s May and when I went to pick up bread from Costco, I walked past two metal carts stacked high with tray after tray of graduation cakes, the thick buttercream “congratulations graduate” words were written yesterday and have started bleeding red into the white frosting backdrop.
It’s May, and the house on the corner has a bunch of bright tulips that are still stubbornly turning their faces to the sun, even though their leaves are yellow and drooping. It’s May, and Logan needs lunch money and I forgot my purse, so I have to circle back again and go inside to find him. It’s May. Wretched May. And yesterday while I waited by the school curb for Spencer to come out of rehearsal, I ran my finger along the smooth glass of my phone, and smiled at the pictures of happy families in their Sunday best, and paused to look in the faces of children I’ve known since they were toddlers. Kids who used to come to my house and leave their half-eaten otter pops to melt on my couch while they searched through the frozen box for a better flavor than blue.
It’s May and I wish it was June. Five more days.
It’s May, and I have no prom pictures to take up memory on my phone and Alex is not graduating yet. You can measure his frustration to the beat of his sleepless nights, and regular, (like a metronome –I click my tongue to hear the sound-) outbursts. It’s May and I tell myself the same thing I told myself in April, and December, and last July, “You have to measure Alex against Alex. Is he making progress when measured against himself? Yes. He is. So simmer down.” And then I count like blessings the ways he’s growing up, the moments of success, his sweet face and the flecks of gold I catch in his baby blues when he will look me in the eye.
It’s May and all month heavy rain has kept the temperatures down, cancelled swim practices and turned our back yard into a jungle. It felt like spring, so it was easy to ignore the approach of summer. But the last few days the weather patterns have shifted, the days have grown warmer and the oppressive humidity of Texas has settled like unshed tears; the dew point today was so high, that as I walked from the school to my car the thin sheen of grief shined like diamonds on my arms.