It’s that tapering-off time of year.
And yet it’s also that grand-finale time of year.
In other words, I’m not sure whether it would be more accurate to say the school year ends with a whimper or a bang; a sigh or a crash of cymbals; a quiet smile or a standing ovation.
Holly’s pottery class ended yesterday, and she brought home a paper bag full of creations: ornately glazed ceramic plates, mugs, animals, plaques, boxes. Tim has his last baseball game later this week.
The more ceremonious end-of-year events are under way as well: classroom presentations, student concerts. And also under way are the forward-looking events: fifth grade informational night is in a couple of weeks, and although I admit it’s the first school informational event yet that I’ve considered not going to – is there really anything about administrative plans for next year’s fifth grade complicated enough for me to give up a weeknight in June? –a sense of obligation toward the school and all the information dispensation it plans year in and year out will no doubt prevail.
And even as the kids’ activities taper off, I still have a task list to get me through the next three weeks: a volunteer appreciation coffee to host, a faculty/staff luncheon to oversee, a seventh grade in-school party to plan.
So when I clicked from May to June on my electronic calendar yesterday, there was a brief temptation to hyperventilate just a little. So much still left to do before school vacation starts; and then following that will come the cheerful laziness that descends over the kids as soon as the last day of school is behind them and their time is wide open.
But then I thought of another mother at our school, one who will spend the next few weeks – or longer – accompanying her son, close in age to my son, to chemotherapy sessions. She’s not worrying about baseball banquets or volunteer appreciation coffees, or even what the kids will do once vacation begins. Right now, my slightly frazzling but merry reality is a dream to her.
As I often remind myself, normalcy is the greatest luxury. Bustling around for the next three weeks means that people are having fun and celebrating the small milestones that accompany the end of every school year: milestones like finishing grade school, completing one’s first June band concert, bringing home a great report card. Having all of those little daily events taken away seldom happens for a positive reason. So we’ll make our way through the upcoming weeks, celebrating each event, and just being glad for the happy bustling frazzling overscheduled normalcy of June.