Saturday, May 12, 2012

Season of chaos

It's May, season of flowers and springtime -- and chaos.

May is the time when all sports and extracurricular activities come to a crashing end, with finals, recitals, concerts and the such. The problem is a lot of times, it seems like it all comes on the same day.

Earbaby's calendar is full for the next two weeks. Which means our calendar is full for the next two weeks. And it's going to be a miracle if we survive it all.

I should have known this would happen, and I probably could have predicted it at the beginning of the school year when EB decided to dance at two different dance schools. And when I saw that her state gymnastics finals in her new classification were in May also (in her other classification, states were in March), well, I should have strapped myself in for a bumpy ride right then and there.

It has taken a lot of pleading and politicking on my part to get EB's ridiculous schedule coordinated. The first problem came when I realized her dance recitals would fall on the same day. In her first school, the one she's danced at since she was three, she would have been there all day, in both shows. Her teacher, a longtime friend of mine (at least for now, she'll be really sick of me soon) granted her permission to skip the second show so she can get to -- her second recital in her new dance school.

Now from there, I had to persuade the owner of the studio to put EB's class near the end of the show so we would have time to get her there. The places are not close, so we'll be tearing through town, while she'll be doing a costume change in the car. Should be fun.

But the chaos didn't stop there. Her gymnastics final had to make life more difficult for me (uh, us). The original schedule was on Saturday. No problem, I'll just take the day off for a long weekend of gymnastics one day, followed by a Mother's Day rehearsal for Dance Recital 1.

It couldn't be that easy. EB's final state gymnastics final, her last ever, since she's planning on quitting the team, will be Sunday, conflicting with the mandatory rehearsal. And the time is exactly when she must be in both places. Again, trading on my friendship, I went to her teacher and told her our dilemma. She gave us dispensation to miss the rehearsal, knowing that after 10 (!) years of recitals, EB can skip a rehearsal, because if she doesn't know what she's doing by now, she never will.

But I'm already exhausted. I feel guilty for asking others to accommodate our crazy schedule and promised both teachers I won't do this again. Next year, if the two dance schools have conflicting schedules, she'll pick one recital and skip the other. I'm hoping it won't happen, but chances are it will. Gymnastics will be a nonstarter she says, so it will be one less headache this time next year.

But the chaos continues at school too. In the next two weeks, EB has all-important MCAS, the standardized test given in the public schools. While EB has managed to pull her math scores back up to a B-, which meant that she was doing A work to get it back from where it dropped the last term, the MCAS math may be different. She doesn't seem too concerned though, they've been preparing the class for the two-day testing since last term.

And then there's the spring band concert. And the band teacher wants more from the beginning band. The winter concert was passable, and many in the beginning band had been playing for only about three months. So to put together anything passable as a song was a feat in itself.

But EB has been saying the teacher has them practicing a really hard song and has been tougher on them leading up to next week's show. I applaud his patience and effort and hope that in time EB will too. I'm also hoping she will reconsider her decision to drop trumpet next year. I'd like her to stick with something for a little longer than a school year, especially since he's already said she has the potential to be the best female trumpet player.

Anyway, the concert will come right after the state meet, dance recitals and MCAS, and I'm hoping that will be the merciful end to the two hellish weeks of preparation, rehearsals, hair preparation, and for good measure, a school field trip thrown in. Of course I volunteered for that. After all, I'm home during the day, what else would I have to do?

Two weeks. And then the final push to the end of the school year. It gets easier from here. At least until the rush toward summer with camp, vacation travel, summer reading, the Olympics, the Republican and Democratic conventions her father has to go to, getting ready for eighth grade ...

Come to think of it, it never gets easier from here.

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