Here we are. May has arrived and has brought with it two of my favorite tranditions. The first is "Attempt Unsuccessfully to Celebrate an Archaic Holiday Day," occurring annually on May first. My mom introduced me to this holiday when I was but a child. We lovingly wove baskets out of wrapping paper, filled them with daffodils, and attempted to deliver them to neighbors. The first two were not home. The third threatened to sic her dog, a slavering, toothy, beast of a German Shepherd, on us. When we attmepted to explain our errand she shreiked that she had enough flowers and ordered us to leave. At that point, we settled for giving flowers to the nice girl in the hat at the ice cream window. Not to be deterred, I set out to creat teh same joyous memories for my children. Five weeks post c-section, and with a oble headed baby strapped to my chest I hobbled gmaely around our yard, gathing flowers and fighing to keep my toddler from falling into the "holler" and thus his death. After that, we took a handful of pain medication and a nap. Thus fortified, we set out. at the first house I took my toddler by the hand and together we placed our basket of flowers by the door. Ah, success! At that moment, my world exploded. It seems that I had not clearly explained to the boy that we would be leaving the flowers. Said boy is, shall we say, a bit high strung, and his toddler years were nothing short of catastrophic. For reasons I still cannot comprehend the fact that we were leaving the flowers totally unhinged the child and I found myself dragging a screaming, crying, snotting, biting vaguely child shaped creature back to the van. At that moment, I could help but look forward to the next year, when the tradition could continue.
May wasn't done with me yet, though. Oh no. You see, we still get to look forward to "Throw out the Seeds I Tried to Start and Admit My Utter Failure as a Gardener Day." Each year I vow to grow my own food. I have visions of a bounty filling my larder, all grown on my own land with my two grubby little hands. The thing is, I have a black thumb that rivals that of a zombie with frostbite and so each March I buy peat pots and seeds. I read the instructions. Twice. I sow the seeds gingerly, whispering endearments and encouragement. I feed them. I water them. I keep them in the sunlight and out of the cold. Each May I finally and tearfully throw out the molding, smelly balls of dirt and go visit my friends at the Farmer's Market.
To this parade of masochism, I plan to add "Story a Day May." A Story a Day, much like the autumnal counterpart NaNoWriMo is intended to get all of us who are going to write "someday," are going to finish the novel "someday" to get off of our collective sit upons and actually do it. I'm not going to lie, I love these things. In theory. I love the extra push to write. I love the community. I love the formal excuse to eschew housework (but honey, it's A Story a Day May!). But I'm wary. I'm certain that as I sit there, around the 20th, inky fingered and dangerously close to a coffee fueled arrhythmia, that the truth will hit me. No matter how good my intentions may be, it's just another tradition in May.