Un- May Day

Today was a gorgeous day in Shelburne VT. I “got” to spend the afternoon at Shelburne Farms watching my five year old dance around a May pole. Despite the fact that the school event was from 1:30-3:00 on a Monday afternoon 75% of the kids had parents in attendance.

The event had just the right amount of organization, and a good snack. All should have been great. Yet…watching 5 classes wind the may pole to the same 2 songs, then 4 of the 5 classes unwind the may pole to reset for the next class had my skin crawling. There is no reason for my reaction. I just am missing some sort of parental instinct that has me enjoy performances.

Holiday concerts, sports practices, endless star wars reenactments. They all leave me checking my watch, twitching like someone coming off of something.

I took some pictures because thats what the other parents did. I watched my five year old flirt with third grade girls and felt afraid of the future, but mostly I just felt like a strange imposter mom. One who wanted to be inside on this beautiful May day.

Just when my guilt was reaching its peak Leo turned to me and asked. “When can we go?” “How about right now?” I answered. “Great” he said, and walked away from May day. I took his hand and we asked his teacher if we could leave. Everyone else was playing. She looked and me and said “I thought thats what people would do when the performance was over.” Maybe I am reaching here…but perhaps I wasn’t the only one wanting to get away from May Day.


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Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

One thought on “Un- May Day”

  1. I have been exactly where you were and I completely understand how you feel. I had the same experience with my kids at that school activity a few years ago (and at the “holiday” performance, etc). Your instincts (and the teacher’s) were correct: People generally leave when a performance ends! But there are those who like to linger in hopes of chatting up the teacher or the school’s leaders… Always trust your instincts. They may be trying to tell you something bigger…

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