Despite my letter a couple weeks ago politely asking May to take a small break this year, the month has come on with its usual vigor. So rather than sink into the stress, why not have a little fun.

Welcome to the 1st Annual May Madness Office Pool … or since we know that our cars are our offices, the 1st Annual May Madness Car-Pool. This tournament’s first rounds have come and gone (May’s crazy that way.) And, we’re waiting for one last Elite 8 face-off to produce a winner in order to get to our Final Four.

Just to recap how the teams have fared thus far:

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Sweet 16 & Elite 8:

As was expected, Orthodontist Appointment lost out to No.1 Seed, Teacher Gifts. OA, normally overlooked and quite often forgotten, was thrilled to make it to the tournament this year. But highly favored TG quickly swept past the easily-rescheduled Appointment.

In a welcomed win, Lunch with Friends edged out Celebrate Summer B-days to make it to the Elite Eight. Though Kids with Summer Birthdays absolutely get the shaft and should be celebrated during the school year, moms are standing strong. Holding on to the hope of all hopes that yes, they can and will find time in this crazy month of May to leisurely lunch with their friends. … We’ve just gotten news that Lunch With Friends planned a sneak move in effort to possibly beat out highly-favored Teacher Gifts! They’ve ditched “leisurely” and have opted instead for “quick-grab”. Referees are still reviewing the play.

Pedicure was no match for this year’s new entry End of Year ENO Party. Of course it was no surprise. Sandals will just have to wait as toes slip back winter shoes. But no one was sad to see the ENO Party handily win. EP organizers were no fools as they coupled the party with ENO hammocks – sneaking “leisurely” back into the mix. Leisurely, outside and most likely a park appeals to all involved.

Finishing out the left side of the bracket, Graduation Gifts fell quickly to Athletic Banquet. GG was just happy to make it to the tournament. Everyone knows gifts can be purchased and given in summer months. And as expected, Athletic Banquet sailed past newcomer ENO party and is waiting with great anticipation to see whether Lunch with Friends or Teacher Gifts will meet them in the next round.

THIS JUST IN: TEACHER GIFTS has pulled ahead to take the last Final Four spot. Refs called foul on Lunch With Friend’s and their quick-grab move. Sweet tea and chicken salad will just have to wait.

On the right side of the Draw, Camp Shopping is making a clean sweep. Fueled by kids ready for school to be over and parents secretly longing for some quiet moments at home, Camp Shopping is riding the wave. [Note: Camp Packing didn’t make it to the Sweet Sixteen. Should be interesting in a couple of weeks when the pair unavoidably meets.]

Healthcare providers everywhere were thrilled to see Mammogram making the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in history. But the ride didn’t last long. Calendar pressures and the surprise announcement “Mom – I need a costume – TOMORROW!” ended the appointment’s fine showing. It will accompany Orthodontist and Grad Gifts to a spot on June’s to-do list. Put it at the top people. It deserves it (and so do you.)

Mother’s Day, with it’s celebration at the beginning of May was easily trumped by Summer Sign-ups. But, even SS was no match for Camp Shopping who will meet School Projects in the Final Four.

Regardless which activity comes out on top of this mad-dash to summer, spectators and participants alike know that the force driving it all, yet never actually taking a spot in the bracket, is the CARPOOL itself. Because without a lot of driving from place to place to store to athletic event to school and back to school, none of it would be possible.

And this mom of a graduating Senior says enjoy every one of May’s crazy car-driving,trying-to-get-it-all-done-on-no-sleep minute because they go TOO FAST. Don’t for a second let May’s crazy take your eyes off all the good. And let’s celebrate the shoe-in winner of May Madness 2015: Teacher Gifts. Thanks for a great year of loving on our kids!

And thanks to all of you for walking this busy-time-of-the-year road with me. Here’s to finishing strong while taking time to savor along the way (and maybe sneaking in a quick-grab lunch with friends!)

-Kay

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