Spring is here!
Can we all just stop and breath a collective sigh of relief?
I know I speak for many when I say, that was one hell of a winter. Between the Polar Vortex surprising us with an extended visit and the 42 minutes of daylight, I was on the verge of losing what little mind I have left.
But now, now the sun is shining and the air is 70 degree warmer. Ahhhhhhhh ....
It also feels good to be able to finally say yes for the first time in months.
"Can we play outside?"
"Can we ride bikes?"
"Is my sandbox melted?"
"Is it spring yet?"
"Do you wanna build a snowman?"
Wait ... No!
We have been spending the majority of our days outside, basking in all the glory of the season. My daughter is rediscovering th changes that happen and exclaims her great relief every time she sees that a tree is budding or that a flower has poked out of the soil.
While cleaning up the yard I came across a couple of earthworms. I gently picked them up and showed them to my kiddo. She was both fascinated and freaked out by the squirmy little creatures that were cradles in my hand. After a long discussion on their anatomy, what they eat, where they live, and why they are so good to have around, she decided not to touch it but made sure it was known that she was so happy that they hadn’t frozen to death. I agreed with her and gingerly placed them back into the soil in which I had found them. She stayed squatting next to them for some time, just observing them.
This is what I miss the most when our corner of the world is covered in snow and frozen solid. I miss the awe and wonder of squatting next to my daughter and watching a worm go about it’s business. I miss spending hours adding to her rapidly growing rock collection. I miss the feeling of grass between my toes and the sound of her squealing with happiness blowing in the breeze.
Sure, winter has its perks. Nothing is cozier than an evening under a blanket, on the couch, as snow flies outside the window. Spending the night with a mug of hot cocoa and a good movie is an acceptable plan. Sledding and skiing and ice skating and snowboarding can make for an awesome season of white fluffy stuff. But eventually the snow looses it’s fluff. It turns grey and hard.
The short days of February are trying. By then, winter has lost its sparkle and spring seems like a pipe dream. Those 28 days seem like the longest, short days of winter. By March, I think nearly everyone is done with the bitter cold. The days start to get a little longer. Occasionally we get these glimpses of warmth. The sleds come back with a vengeance and children hurl themselves down the icy hills one last time all while eyeing the adjacent playground, still covered in more winter than anyone cares to admit.
Very slowly, but surely, April arrives. Notorious for its not-so-funny tricks of springtime blizzards, by mid-month it usually shapes up. The mercury starts to rise, staying consistently above freezing during daylight hours. Swings melt free from their icy cages and slides end in muddy puddles instead of mini-skating rinks. Rubber boot replace winter ones and one look at the rosy cheeks of the nearest child and you know spring has finally arrived.
And like some sort of New England amnesia, the winter seems worth it. By May it is a distant memory of twinkling lights, snowy days, and warm beverages. The Polar Vortex will be something we chat about while pushing our kiddos on the swings. It’ll be hard to remember just how cold it was when the sun is warming our backs, turning our exposed shoulders pink. We will vow to pick up some sort of new winter pastime for next year, pastimes we will never actually get around to, to ease the darkest of the months.
"I think spring is really here, Mommy! It is finally here! See? I can make mud in my sandbox. Want a mud pie, mommy? They are so yummy. Here, try one!"
And just like that, the harshness of winter melts away and spring wins me over, once again.
Michelle writes from the home she shares with her husband, their three year old daughter and two dogs. She is the authority on nothing and may just be the most outgoing shy person you will ever meet. Her daughter is convinced she is a super hero but most days she feels more like the super villain. Read more of her work on her blog at www.JuiceboxConfession.com, "like" her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/JuiceboxConfession or follow her on Twitter @Juicebox Confess. All love letters can be sent to JuiceboxConfession@gmail.com.