#266- May


Here we go gathering nuts in May!

Mother may I? Yes you may.

Maybelline, why can’t you be true?

April showers bring May flowers.

Louisa May Alcott


May poles

May baskets

How many more references to May can I come up with?

I think mostly about “may” in reference to asking permission and making a request.  That’s because we have worked so hard to drill into our kids some politeness and manners. They know they are not likely to get a positive response from mom or dad until they start their request with “May I please?”.

My youngest is 6 and is reasonably consistent in saying , “May I?”. He knows so well that he needs to start his demand  request with “May” that he has devised his own way of asking me to do something for him. He asks, “May you please?” It’s so endearing I can’t bring myself to correct it. And anyway, it kind of makes sense. If he has to ask “May I” for himself, why not “May you” for me? I may or may not fulfill his request, and it does sound (in 6 year old terms) a little bit more polite than saying “Will you”.

May baskets. I didn’t know much about May baskets until I moved to my current town. I was working full time and my kids went to the same place for pre-school and after-school. This particular facility has a multi-generational program that brings the children into regular interaction with the senior set, mostly nursing home folk, but others as well.

On the first of May the children would make paper cones with a little handle and then put a few flowers in the cone. Voila! A May basket. Then the children would deliver these cheerful little baskets to the residents. The first year I happened to be visiting a resident when the school kids came round to the independent living section to deliver. They were so excited! And I mean to say, both kids and the residents! What a great practice in respecting the elderly generation. I hope it has made my kids more comfortable in dealing with the elderly, both healthy/independent and infirm/dependent.

Prompted by the word suggestion from

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6 Responses to #266- May

  1. Altonian says:

    A delightful post, with a lot of truisms and commonsense. Children can invent the most wonderful way of saying things.

  2. Jae Rose says:

    Yes, you gathered up those thoughts like nuts..and placed them in a paper basket for us to share..jae

  3. Grace Walker says:

    Thanks y’all!

  4. Jingle says:

    This is super lovely.

    love May,
    stunning imagery.

  5. Meryl Jaffe says:

    I loved your “May” post. As I walk a lot outdoors, my first thought of May are the buds, lilacs, tulips, trees and flowers. But, I loved that yours was about asking politely. We also tried to instill etiquette and manners in our kids and it’s nice to see others doing the same. Life can be so hard, it’s nice to see some soft kindness among it.


  6. Old Egg says:

    It really hurts when children stop using those endearing ways of speech that mans they are growing up. This is a really touching post.

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