For the first 16 or so years of our marriage, May meant celebrating spring. Searching out the best flowers at garden centers, usually with my children helping.  Planting the little starts in groupings. Starting outdoor projects.  Enjoying the warm days.  Watching the landscape come back to life.

Nine years ago in the beginning of April, my husband came home from the first pre-lacrosse season meeting our family attended. He looked at me square on, and he stated very emphatically: “You can take away anything else you were planning on doing on weekends, from now until the middle of June.”  As more kids joined in—on different teams for most years—more time was spent driving—often in different directions. 

Three years ago, I said yes to a new job.  I became a local coordinator for exchange students.  The Spanish summer students arrived in the end of June; the academic year students arrived in August.  The month of May suddenly filled with massive deadlines, and I spent more hours on the phone and at the computer than I did in the garden. 

This year, of course, is different.  I miss lacrosse.  I will miss getting to know a great group of Spanish students this summer. 

Today I returned to shopping for flowers.  It gave me great peace and joy, just standing there, surrounded by all the little plants, contemplating color schemes and growing patterns. I came home to a husband and two sons, completely engrossed in an outdoor project of their own. 

It’s a silver lining, this return to what we “used to do”.