Every year I look forward to Memorial Day weekend.
No matter what the Chicagoland weather brings, the weekend signifies the beginning of summer and a chance to relax with family and friends.
As a parent, I also look to this weekend as the carrot that gets me through the frenzy of May and all of its end-of-school-year-madness, including recitals and finals and soccer and baseball and last-minute summer camp registrations and endless questions that I’m rarely able to answer quickly, like:
Do you know where all the shorts are?
But it’s not even dark out yet so why can’t I stay out here a little while longer?
No, I mean, where are my shorts that actually fit?
Can I hang out at the beach after school?
Do we have any sidewalk chalk?
Why do we go to school for one hour on the last day?
Do we have any water balloons?
Can you drive me and the guys to Great America?
Does sunscreen expire?
If I'm wearing a cap and gown, why do I have to wear something fancy underneath?
Have you seen my library book? Can you believe I can't get my report card without it?
Are we getting my teacher a separate gift or contributing to the group thing?
I meant the cute shorts. Where are those?
Do you know who my teacher will be next year?
Can you help me fill up these water balloons? It's really hard.
There’s not that much dirt on me, see? Why do I have to take a shower?
I get so wrapped up in “surviving” May madness that I often forget Memorial Day is all about honoring those who didn’t survive while protecting my nation’s freedom.
Although I cannot thank the fallen heroes personally, I send my gratitude to readers who've lost family and friends in the military service. Their ultimate sacrifice allows me to keep my own home front “battles” in perspective, and to once again relax with family and friends this holiday weekend.