It used to be that the month of December -- when the Picket Fence Post family celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah -- seemed like my most tension-filled time of the year. My "To Do" lists were gigantic and the pressure to get everything right -- gifts, holiday cards, "big" meals, decorations -- could be intense. But as my kids have gotten older, I've come to believe that the spring has actually supplanted Christmas/Hanukkah time as one of the more intense time of the year? Why? Let me count the ways:
Hockey is still on-going in its pop-up-out-of-nowhere practices and games, wreaking havoc on my family calendar.
Lacrosse has begun (this is our first foray into youth lacrosse) and the sport has an extremely intense practice schedule (three practices a week and one game on the weekends . . . and The Spouse volunteered to assistant coach, after he head-coached two basketball team and assisted on another this winter). One of my children, who shall not be named, plays on both hockey and lacrosse teams, whose practices and games overlap until hockey concludes next month, ending the August to April season. (Yes, August to April. For grade schoolers.)
My e-mail box is getting deluged with missives from coaches/league organizers for the Picket Fence Post kids' travel soccer teams, establishing practice times and locations, then changing said times and locations at the last minute. (I now only pencil in these dates.) I currently am unclear as to where and when the games and practices will be for those teams and how they'll fit fit into the hockey/lacrosse picture.
The Girl has also become an official soccer referee (she had to take a long class to become certified) and is supposed to be officiating youth soccer games for the first time this spring. I've got no clue as to how this is going to work. I'm also hoping no lunatic sports parents give her a hard time.
School bands are suddenly switching into high gear with band competitions and performances cropping up all over the place like weeds. I just found out from a fellow band mom that after last week's jazz band performance, a week after a jazz band's talent show performance, a week after an out-of-state band competition, that there's another concert this week AND a competition on Saturday (but I knew about Saturday's, and it's local, yippee). That unanticipated concert happens to be at the same time as a hockey practice AND a book club meeting for a group I really want to join. (I missed the last meeting because of kid-related stuff.) The Spouse has a work engagement that night as well. Don't yet know what that night's going to look like.
Spring class projects. When the flowering trees start to blossom, we know that the smell of drying glue and a forest of tri-fold boards are bound to be taking over our dining room, because if it's spring, it's time for at-home school projects. This usually leads to 11th-hour pleadings from The Ungratefuls for me to rush out and get supplies that they "didn't know" they needed, despite the detailed supplies list their teachers gave them weeks ago.
Then there are the twin religious holidays which require that I temporarily re-locate those school projects from the dining room (usually they're shoved into my horrifically disorganized closet like everything else) in order to prepare for Passover and Easter. We typically host Passover dinner for The Spouse's family and then share Easter Sunday with my family. But before that occurs, I've got to buy lots of matzo (The Spouse and The Girl are the only ones to eat matzo for the Passover week, unlike the rest of us bread-eaters who only indulge in matzo during our formal Passover dinner) and other Passover accoutrements. Plus, I've got to buy tons of eggs (need 'em for both holidays) and an egg dying kit and Easter candy, actually remember to dye the Easter eggs with the kids and make whatever it is I'm going to bring to Easter dinner, provided we're not hosting.
*deep, cleansing breath*
It's all good, I keep telling myself. It'll be fine. We'll figure out a way to handle all of this and, in the meantime, I'll just have to color my hair more frequently to keep stress-induced gray hair at bay.