So, I'm running a little behind schedule with the title of my post, it not actually being May 1st and all. However, I must note the irony of the fact that May Day is all at once the celebration of socialist ideals, a time to leave baskets of flowers for friends and dance around a maypole, and a cry for help upon the high seas.
I'm afraid in my life right now the latter description is the most fitting. Though I do remember my great-aunt leaving surprises for us on May Day when I was a child, this charming tradition seems to have faded totally from practice. For me, May is always one of the busiest months of the year. Soccer Boy and Adventure Guy both have birthdays this month; school is coming to a close,with all the attendant year-end events for both All-American High and the kids' schools; Junior League is also ending its calendar year, bringing several additional commitments; and camp preparations are in full-swing. This year, we also have Swim Chick's confirmation in a couple of weeks. My parents and grandmother will arrive for that weekend, and I'm planning to host lunch for them as well as for my in-laws after the service.
On tap for this weekend: a little soccer, a little dancing, and a big celebration. Soccer Boy is determined to attend his soccer practice and game regardless of the fact that his arm is now in a cast. So, we'll be heading out to the fields tomorrow evening and Saturday afternoon. Evidently, it's up to the ref whether or not he'll be allowed in the game, so we'll see. In his league, the play is not too rough, so I'm not really worried about him further injuring himself if he does play.
Swim Chick has her wrap-up Odyssey of the Mind get together Saturday as well, followed by her big event on Sunday: the party that culminates the ballroom dancing lessons she's taken this spring. Nothing like 50 7th graders all dressed up and waltzing at the nicest country club in town. The dance lessons are a long-standing rite of passage here, one in which I'm pleased Swim Chick has had the opportunity to participate. Watching the boys, often a head shorter than the girls, escorting their partners out at the end of each lesson brings back memories, mostly fond, of my own experiences with learning ballroom dancing in 8th grade. How is it possible that I'm now the mom in this whole equation, rather than an awkward 14 year-old hoping to luck into being paired with one of the popular guys?
What I'm looking forward to most this weekend, though, will happen prior to Swim Chick's big night. Sunday afternoon after church, there's a surprise picnic (shhhhh!) for my friend who has just completed all her scheduled chemotherapy. She's had such a positive outlook through the months of treatments, losing her hair, and dealing with the fear she has of not being around in the future for her kids. I can't begin to put into words how much I admire the grace with which she's faced this challenge that has been placed before her. While we won't know the true effectiveness of her treatments until after some further testing and a lot of hopeful waiting, her friends and family are ready to celebrate with her the end of this phase of treatment. We'll head to a local park, dig in to all the potluck dishes, and enjoy each other's company. And, really, what more is there to life than that? Friends, food, love, and hope.