Y’all, it’s May. And someone much wiser than I am once said that May is the silent December. It comes in with its promises of sunshine and daffodils and reading groups held outside on the grass in front of the school, because who wants to be trapped indoors when the weather is just THAT BEAUTIFUL? If Where the Red Fern Grows can be read inside the classroom, then it can also be read outside. The only issue I would have with this is that you could very possibly make a public spectacle of yourself when you begin reading the part where Little Ann and Old Dan pass on, because there you are… reading outside, near a sidewalk, and LOOK AT THE SNOT AND THE TEARS YOU’RE DEALING WITH and WHO IS THIS CRAZY WOMAN BAWLING WITH A GROUP OF 4TH GRADERS ON THE LAWN WHILE PEOPLE WALK BY?
So really, you might scare passersby, but whatever.
And then, after May comes in with its glorious promises of SIMPLE SPRING and SWEET TEA ON THE PORCH and LAZY EVENINGS OF WATCHING THE CHILDREN FROLIC ACROSS THE BACKYARD BEFORE BEDTIME, it turns into the rabid wolverine. It bares its fangs, and May shouts out, right after an evil, mad-scientist-type laugh, “There! Try to cram one more thing into your day planner this week! Try to find time for your family to all eat dinner together! There are track practice and soccer games. There are end-of-the-year choir concerts and band concerts and orchestra performances. There are award ceremonies, times one hundred and four million… until you just quit saving all the flat sheets of paper that were printed on a laser printer, bearing your son’s name in fourteen-point Lucida Calligraphy, because WHAT WILL WE DO WITH ALL OF THESE?
And I might have mentioned a dozen and one more times that this was THAT KIND OF WEEK.
Today I subbed all day long in the pre-kindergarten classroom. Our pre-k teacher has left Small Town, USA to vacation with her family in an area that is much warmer… beside a pool… where she can take selfies of her freshly-pedicured toes. I knew I had to be in the classroom before 7:15 this morning, because only PE teachers are wise enough to begin their class periods at the respectable time of 11:30. Apparently there’s an entire movement that says reading and writing just can’t wait that long in the day to get underway. I left my house early, because I wanted to make PLENTY CERTAIN that I had time to steer my Suburban through the Starbucks drive-thru.
I ordered a VENTI today, because it was PRE-KINDERGARTEN and it was going to be ALL DAY LONG. I didn’t even hesitate at the outdoor speaker. I just send, “Make it a venti, and I want the Oprah Chai.”
(Have y’all even TRIED the Oprah Chai? I believe one of the chapters in Song of Solomon is devoted completely to Starbucks’ brand new tea.)
(It’s THAT good.)
By 7:10, I was in the classroom, ready to go. I set my venti Oprah down on the table, and I put my backpack right beside her.
And that, people, is precisely when my backpack tipped sideways, hit my darling Oprah, and sent THE ENTIRE GIGANTIC CUP CRASHING OVER. The lid popped off, and I watched all of my liquid gold spread out in a flood of milky beige on the table.
All of it.
I hadn’t even taken my first drink of it yet. It was exactly like striking oil in your backyard, and then watching it spill into a state of UNCOLLECTABLE.
I knew that whatever happened during the rest of today… it would NOT be as bad as my 7:10 AM moment.
I did all things “pre-k like” today. We went over the calendar and then we checked the weather. We sang songs about alphabet letters, we charted how many sunshine-y days we’ve had in May, and we discussed the importance of saying “Excuse me” if you make a smell right next to someone.
Well, I got to pick up THE POINTER. I decided that it really should be called THE HOLY POINTER, because it came with some power, people. The pre-k pointer is a long, blue wand. At the end of it, is a “Mickey Mouse gloved hand,” that is… well... pointing its index finger straight forward. You can use this pointer to tap letters that you’re calling out off of the alphabet strips on the wall. You can use this pointer to tap out the colored-in boxes on the graph that indicate how many Mondays we’ve been in school this year. And you can use this pointer to POINT AT PEOPLE AND ISSUE ORDERS AND COMMANDS AND GET FOLKS TO DO SOME THINGS.
It’s no wonder that kings had golden scepters.
A blue wand with a pointing Mickey Mouse hand at the end of it is EVERY SINGLE BIT as powerful as an ornamental staff in the hand of a ruling monarch.
The teacher’s aide eventually told me that I needed to go ahead and put the pointer down. I pointed Mickey’s index finger right at her, called her out on insubordination to an empress, and told her to get the graham crackers ready for snacks.
I may have found my calling in life, people.
And that is pretty much how today went.
All the other days of this week are just a blur, because OVERLOAD.
Y’all have a very merry Memorial Day weekend. May your barbecues be hot, may your Polish dogs be cooked to sweet perfection, may you remember those who have served our country and our families well and gone on to be with Jesus, and may you remember that June is just around the corner, when the hellcat called May gives way to lazy summer days.