Do you know why they put Mother’s Day in May? So that the moms would not pack up and run away halfway through the month of May. Seriously, I do not get it. This month trips me up every year. No matter how much I plan and prepare by the time this month rolls around the wheels have long since fallen off around here. This month is full of obstacles waiting to trip me up. I fully know they are coming and yet it still requires bandwidth to overcome them. I am writing them down this year so that maybe next year they will be lessened.
#1 The End of Year Award Ceremonies. First, let me say that my kids are amazing. They are the coolest, smartest and funniest people I know. I don’t know how we got such amazing kids because we have done nothing but made life hard for these little people and they rise from the ashes like Phoenix’s. I have no worries about the fact that these kids of mine will change the world….until you put me in an awards ceremony. Then I get all nervous and worried that I have not pushed them hard enough or I have somehow failed them because they did not get the “Texas All State Best Student in the History of the World Award.” I panic when I see someone’s kid has made some amazing team, or made it to State, or got elected president. From the vantage point of my front porch where I am writing this I now that this is stupid. I know that we don’t have to get every award and I know that my kids love the Lord. But then I find myself in an Award Ceremony and realize I am actually contemplating stealing some poor kids trophy and I have to stop and remember, “Oh Crap! May got me again!”
#2 The Morning Routine. I am my best mom self in August. I pack lunches for the kids that would make any vegan, keto, or organicky person take note. I include encouraging notes. I pray for my kids as I am putting their lunches together. We study the bible together over breakfast. We pray as a family and everyone sets out on the day ready to conquer the world, until May. May makes the school lunches of “Chicken corn dogs” look really good. I find myself saying to the kids, “You love chicken corn dogs, we use to have them all the time!” This is a really hard thing to say as you are throwing up in your mouth at the thought of chicken corndogs. Bible Study time sounds more like, “Did you read your bible? Where is your bible?” Prayer time sounds more like, “Get the freak out of my house and go to school!” Then to have a morning like that and then end up in a stupid award ceremony–GOOD LORD, MAY GOT YOU AGAIN!
#3 Field Day, the day of satan. Seriously, I think satan invented this. He was deceiving Eve in the garden and after the curses were handed out, and they were all walking way he whispered to Eve again and said, “You think childbirth will be bad, wait until you have to live through a field day.” Seriously, schools of Texas, PTA’s of Texas, and teachers of Texas if you are doing field day on my behalf, STOP right now! I want teachers to get to the summer as soon as possible. They are all sending out SOS right now because the kids have checked out! Lets clip field day from the calendar and start summer a day early. To be sure field day for kindergarten is fun. But hang 5 years on that and the landscape is vastly different. You are gazing out at group of kids who are unsure if they really need deodorant yet (that is a YES), who are all arms and legs and clumsy, who are LOUD and full of sugar, and who have checked out because May makes us forget that we are not actually animals but in fact human beings capable of higher thought. It is two clicks away from a mob. Do the kids love it, FOR SURE! Is it my nightmare, FOR SURE! Every year my kids talk me into coming to field day. “Mom, I want you there, field day just isn’t field day without you.” And I go. And at some point I am reduced to covering my ears because of the cacophony, closing my eyes because someone is going to fall and get really hurt and plugging my nose because of the stench. I crawl to my car when I am finally released and I realize, “DANG IT, MAY GOT ME AGAIN!”
But in this all God is still teaching me and doing things to make me remember what is really important to Him. He knows this month is a battle field for me and He loves me so much that he doesn’t just leave me to fend for myself in the darkness of May. Our theme for VBS this year is “Flipped.” Ashley says our focus is to teach the kids (and me) that God’s kingdom is flipped from the way the world thinks. The last if first and the first is last in God’s kingdom. I am doing crafts for VBS. One of the craft preparations I have to do is trace, “The last if first and the first is last” and “Jesus is our King” 200 times. Do not think for one second Jesus did not know what He is doing there. You know what will happen? I will be sitting in an award ceremony and all these feelings will come up about my kids not being first and getting the award and He will remind me, “The last is first and the first is last.” It will be fresh on my mind because of all the tracing. (note: I have a bunch of craft volunteers to help me so I will not actually be tracing all 200 myself but for the purpose of illustration I just put 200. Get off my back its May.)
To future Sarah: the only way to survive May is to look for those things that trip you up and line them up with scripture. It takes a lot of bandwidth for sure. But it is the Good Fight. You have to fight for your focus to be on the Lord or else it is on everyone else’s Instagram, FB and awards. That does not bring life to your family, but focusing on the Lord does. The pile of so-called failures that you are left with at the end of the month mean nothing to the Lord. The fact that you sold chicken corn dogs to your kids is not an eternal problem. The fact that y’all did not have a scholarly sit down bible study does not mean that y’all don’t love the Lord. The fact that you don’t love field day does not mean I don’t love your family. You will survive May or you will die trying. It for sure feels like the mom olympics, but future Sarah, keep going because it is worth it.
If you are a fellow mom olympian I pray for you to remember you are doing enough. Your kids are great (they might need deodorant though). Your family is focused on getting to summer not chicken corn dogs. And hold on to this, your kids won’t remember half of what you think they will. June is 15 days away……