Dr. Seuss’ My Many Colored Days was a favorite when the boys were toddlers. I still hear its cadence and tone in my head when I dust the kids’ bookshelf (I’ll admit, a RARE feat, that–dusting, that is). The May, 2015 version of My Many Colored Days looks like this:
Last weekend I asked my husband to hang whiteboards in a conspicuous place. I’ve been one frazzled, exposed nerve since spring break as I’ve been keeping our family calendar. I have tired–and have failed spectacularly–to maintain an electronic-only calendar. Turns out I am of a certain age that the iPhone alone cannot provide support enough that I can rely on only its 3×4″ screen to manage our many colored days. The act of writing is reinforcing to me–and that’s not just because I’m of a certain age–physically writing something helps later visualization and aids recall. There IS science there, for reals. The gift of having done this on Saturday? I lost everything in my phone Sunday. Yep. Everything. Including my own phone number. I’m enough of a certain age to allow that I completely, wholly, entirely screwed up my technology back up before upgrading to a new phone, and lost my contacts, my calendar, text message history, the whole shootin’ match. Thank stars I’d begun this transition the day before. Old school’s cool, right? I’m so retro, I’m in, right? (aaaaand cue crickets chirping) I aimed to color-code this–you know, baseball notated in green to represent his team colors, therapy appointments in red because they signal heightened alert, regular stuff in a serene blue, mom-only stuff pink, but none of that worked either. I have exceptional memory for people–faces, names, babies, and details about others’ lives and likes are things that come easily for me. I can name that tune in a millisecond and know lyrics from probably every song I’ve ever heard, but I struggle not to triple book baseball picture day, zoo tree planting day and piano lessons. This type of memory comes less easily. And just when I need it most!
I write primarily about one, but I have two sons. One’s days are colored with therapies now–occupational therapy and physical therapy take turns now. Both the boys are in orthodontia, so there’s that. My younger son plays baseball on not one, but two teams now, so there are game nights and practice nights at least three per week. The dog needs old-lady-dog medicine now, so her dosage schedule had to be posted somewhere too, ’cause her old-lady-person owner couldn’t keep it straight. None of this is a complaint–just a visual reminder that I’m a lunatic for good reason! Be nice to me when you see me. Pat me on the head as you might a small child; I’m addled, it’s OK, I may not even recognize that you’re patronizing me. I meet with a group of friends monthly, and at our April meeting told the girls I didn’t think I could make May’s dinner because I was getting my hair done. Even as I said it, it sounded ridiculous, but it proved impossible to reschedule that appointment given the rest of my many colored days. This calendar is the proof. I will miss my girls, but desperately need that appointment to re-up my many colored coiffure. You don’t even want to know what June looks like. . .