End of school year comes in a rush

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Buckle up, parents!

Like the proverbial bell curve used for grading classwork, the school year seems to follow a similar pattern. The kiddos head off to class in August, often reluctantly dragging a bag full of brand-new, and very heavy books, reams of smooth, clean paper, and dozens of unchewed pencils.

Days are long, weeks seem like months as summer segues into fall.

Then comes crisp football Fridays, a sift of snow, the countdown to Christmas break.

The bags aren't quite so heavy as they come home at night. Our young ones are learning to use their time in class wisely, or they are conveniently learning to "forget" the books they don't want to face.

If Christmas break is the end of the chug up the hill, then May is the final, exhilarating rush to the end of the roller coaster ride.

School calendars are jam-packed with special events and activities. Outdoor classrooms, trips to the Capital, school-wide assemblies -- the list goes on and on. You blink, just once, and summer's here.

I was reflecting on that Sunday as I wrote down events for the next two weeks on the family calendar. If it's going on in the Buenger Family, it better be on the calendar. With two working parents, a busy high-schooler, what I think must be a case of mom's mid-life memory loss, and the normal ebb and flow of life, if it's not on the calendar, it might just get missed.

The end of the year rush is exaggerated this year, as every parent of a graduating senior can tell you. Multiply the normal May madness by 10, and you have it about right. We add in a family wedding, and another family graduation out of state in May, a concert in Omaha and assorted out-of-the-ordinary events, and my May calendar has so many notations and memos it's tough to see the dates.

With time at a premium, and lifetime memories to be made, I don't want to miss a bit of this upcoming wild time. I want to savor the moments, dive into the craziness. I want to forget about the dishes undone, and the scrapbook that isn't quite complete in time for the graduation reception. Worry less, enjoy more.

I'll be turning to a favorite Bible verse often in the coming weeks, as I begin to make mental checkmarks of the things I wanted to do that I didn't get done. I'll feel the pressure rise, the worrying begin. It's time to re-focus.

Philippians 4:6-7

"6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

The May rush will be over soon, and the lazy days of summer will be here. And, just like that, the end-of-school rush is past.

And, isn't it funny? We'll miss the madness.


Big congratulations go out to Jared Schoelerman of Clay Central-Everly! Jared has in his possession a pretty elite piece of memorabilia -- a white Drake Relays flag, signifying his amazing feat -- being a champion at the world-class relays.

That's a pretty big deal for a young man who will be graduating in a class of 32 in less than two weeks.

The high school division of the relays throws students from every class, every size together to compete. It's the state championship meet on steroids.

And Jared took the title in the high jump, soaring 6'7" on a cold, breezy day to top the field.

The win ticked one box in Jared's goals for his final track season. He'd like to top 6'10" this year, beating his personal best of 6'8". And a Class 1A championship crown would give him his personal trifecta.

He also earned another honor last week, being inducted into the National Honor Society, which exemplifies his character and scholarship as well.

It's so great to see these young men and women do great things. It's especially nice, as his mom Teresa and I were friends and members of the Spencer track team together a lot of years ago. We don't have Drake Relays flags. As I recall, we were more interested in the social issues of the sport than hitting highs of her son!