Day 1 of 2011 family road trip

I have a love/hate relationship with this month. On one hand it’s the month of my daughter’s birthday, my husband’s birthday, and perfect spring weather here in the high desert. Cactus flowers are blooming, the neighborhood roadrunners are busy hunting lizards, and there seems to be a music festival or other fun event every weekend. What’s not to love?

Well, the imminent end of the school year is causing me angst (again). This is my daughter’s third year in pre-school so you’d think I’d have gotten better at planning this transition, but I haven’t. Just like last year and the year before, our summer plans are half-baked at best, largely due to the total unpredictability of Turtle’s work schedule. (Seriously, would some studio just hire him for some regular union work already? Dang this is getting old.)

All our friends with kids are talking about art camps, summer theater programs, community farm programs for kids and all sorts of other summer activities — most of which are already full or filling up, causing me considerable stress.

I just need to relax about it and remember that we always manage to put together a couple fun summer months, both for us and the kids. But I have to say I really detest this part of parenting. Having to schedule and plan kids’ activities in advance somehow just drives me nuts even though I’m a pretty good planner in general. I think part of it must be that somewhere deep down I still look at summer like a kid: I just can’t wait for a couple months of delectable unstructured free time. No more school, whoo!

But wait…I’m not the kid anymore. I’m mom, and mom has to work this summer, and so does dad, and somehow we need to keep our two awesome kids entertained, not to mention that mom and dad could use some summer fun too…and the burden of all that just feels really heavy in early May.

It makes me feel better to remember I had this exact same angst last year, and a month later we were on an an impromptu 5-week road trip. An amazingly fun, freewheeling, nomadic road trip, I might add. I’d love to do something similar this summer but we’ll just have to see. (House swap anyone?) I just need to remind myself that early May is our murky season, and that’s just the way it is — much like Albuquerque’s spring winds. And I just need to have faith that the skies will clear in the next few weeks as they always do.




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