I can’t believe how quickly time has passed this month. It seems that since the weather finally turned warm and dry, time passes much more quickly. Since the middle of May, it seems there hasn’t been a moment not spent preparing for something.

In mid April I had the idea of throwing a baby shower for one of my husband’s cousins. She was expecting her baby in June, and she was living on the West Coast while her husband was finishing his degree up in the Midwest. A few years ago she had lost a baby early in her pregnancy, and her mother died unexpectedly. It just occurred to me that this must be a difficult time for her, and a surprise baby shower would be a great way to show her others were thinking about her. The problem was now this: how do you throw a shower when all the potential guests are in other locales? I emailed my idea to Jim’s aunt, and she suggested contacting another cousin. We each started brainstorming, and I found a website that described a “Shower in a Box”. Quite literally, one person organizes, gathers and sends the gifts and cards to the recipient. Our goal was to have the package arrive for Mother’s Day, but we decided to have it come a few weeks later due to her schedule demands. The e-shower was a huge success, and she has since delivered a healthy baby boy, on Father’s day none the less!

This endeavor went so well that I next got the idea of organizing a class present from the kids for Joel and Chad’s teachers. I had planned on crocheting Market Bags for them, and suggested we gather items or gift cards for a related theme to fill the bags. For one teacher we chose a beach theme for her summer cottage and for the other we chose activities to do over the summer with her children. The e-vites were once again sent, and the responses began poring in. The boys and I managed to pull it off without both teachers finding out, and the gifts were presented the last day of school.

As the school year winds to a close, it always makes me think of what has transpired in the last few months. It makes me pause and notice how my children have grown, not only physically, but academically as well. This year is especially bittersweet, for at the start of the next school year in September, I will now have one child in elementary, middle and high school. I knew this would happen someday, but it is hard to believe the time has arrived. The hardest to accept is the fact that Chad, my youngest, is now going to be in school all day. He has grown the most this past year, entering Kindergarten not knowing how to read, and leaving able to read several books that contain mostly his sight words. It truly amazes and scares me at the same time. This leaves me wondering (and worrying) about how I will spend my days come September.

Jim’s aunt (the one who helped me organize the shower) came and stayed with us for a visit last week. She spent time visiting with Jim’s Mom as well as us. It was just a short visit, for she also cares for his Grandmother who is 96 years old (97 in November). It occurred to me after her visit that she has become the family caretaker, and that this role evolved over time, much as a mother’s does. I often times feel that my kids need me less as they get older, but that really isn’t the case. The needs just change, and you as a mother need to change as well.

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