I guess there are some people for whom the month of May is not over-scheduled, over-blown, and over-rated, but I haven’t met them yet. If you have school-aged kids you are barraged with “end of year” everything, including class parties, recitals, sports tournaments/team parties, class plays, band concerts, and my personal least favorite, field days. These events are multiplied by the number of spawn you have produced, causing you to have new sympathy for the Chinese “one child” policy. If you are a bit farther down the road of life, you find yourself going to endless weddings of your friends’ children, and if you happen to have a weekend off the wedding circuit you are attending or hosting a shower. I recently spoke to a friend who hosted more showers than I took this spring. Well, almost. In sum, the month of May usually seems more like a test of endurance than anything else. Y’all feel me?
This May I was not in either of the aforementioned groups of May victims, but the month was still too crazed for comfort. I welcomed one daughter home from Madrid and four days later drove her to Saint Louis for the summer. We celebrated my mother’s birthday, showered a precious soon-to-be bride, feted a newly-graduated medical student, enjoyed a glorious Mother’s Day, and cheered my other daughter as she departed Austin for Anchorage on her bike (ouch).
Sprinkled in among the parties and champagne was some Real Life drudgery, including a circle of Passport Hell, a flooded but not totaled car, a leaky ceiling that is still raining pieces of sheetrock (and sometimes water) on the floor, and some lab results which by all rights should come from an obese person who sits on the couch all day with cigarettes and fried chicken but in fact belong to me. What the hell?
This month we also shouted loud cries of praise and thanks for the replenishment of Lake Travis, transforming our Fake House back into a Lake House. Our jubilation was tempered by the knowledge that those same torrential rains wrought devastation and loss of life just a few miles away. It is a sad fact that lately our lake fills up only as a result of meteorological events causing concurrent destruction in other places.
Having finally found an emergency exit from Passport Hell, we are scheduled to return to Paris tomorrow. My new passport is conclusive evidence of the truth of Erma Bombeck’s observation that anyone who looks like her passport photo is too sick to travel. As much as I have enjoyed the May festivities, I do look forward to the relaxed pace of my Paris life. Stay tuned for more episodes.