All hail spring!
Wasn’t yesterday wonderful? I was volunteering for our after school program, and when that was over, there were tons of us hanging out at the playground. We tried to head for home, but M started playing with a neighbor, and when J saw that it was a gathering including several kids and two dogs, she was sucked in. When I finally led them home after 5 pm so that M could do homework, J was waylaid by another neighbor and ended up playing there with a crew of little kids. When I got home I was rushing to get dinner because I feared that either child could collapse at any time from sheer exhaustion.
And now, look. It’s over. It’s cold and gloomy. Ah, the highs and lows of the season. I was ruminating on the lows over the last week because I was a little grouchy. And today appears to be perfect for The Darker Side of Spring.
- Mud and Laundry M has fallen into the mud twice walking to and from school. One day she called me from school sobbing a mere 15 minutes after she’d left home. I rushed over with a change of clothes and a new water bottle, and when I told the ladies at the office why I was there, one of them burst out laughing. I wanted to annihilate her right there. I’m sure it was all very cute and hilarious to see my blondie soaked in mud, but could you please refrain from laughing until after I have actually seen her and confirmed that she’s not Scarred For Life? Because my normally stoic daughter was crying at school as if her world had ended. So could you, like, get her for me so that she can stop shivering in wet underwear, please? I know this reaction sounds hostile, but I was in Mama Bear mode. And, actually, this was all the tempest within. My exterior was smiling apologetically at interrupting their early morning routine. Needless to say, there’s been a great deal of laundry at our house–I bet at your place, too–right?
- Garbage Recently at church we were talking about very simple spiritual practices, and one of them was picking up three pieces of trash every time you walk out into the world. The idea behind it was that it would make you more mindful and observant of the world around you while also doing something for others. Anyway, J really took it to heart and she’s been picking up trash ever since. Which, you know, is good. I want to encourage mindfulness and environmentalism and all that. But every once in a while I’m like, can we just freakin’ get where we’re going, please? And of course it’s the worst with the snow melting, because there’s all sorts of yuck that’s been hidden in the snow for months. For example, I don’t want to get too specific, but apparently someone got lucky just three blocks from my house. Fortunately, J wasn’t along for that walk.
- Oh, the Weariness It’s all that dang fresh air. The kids are playing like maniacs. Which is good. And then they’re tired. Which is good. But your preciously cultivated routines are thrown out of whack. The non-nappers start napping again. Dinner has to be moved up. And, of course, don’t forget the sheer physical exhaustion for the parents. I was biking with the girls the other day, and they had no interest in stopping, ever. Oh, the burning thighs. . . . Which, you know, is good, too, I guess.
- Car Stench You’ve heard me say that there’s frequently a layer of snack debris in the car along with random socks, pens, stickers, etc. But it’s appeared to be pretty clean lately. Alas, with the spring sunshine, the car heats up, and that’s when I noticed that sometime between November and March, some sort of dairy product spill went unreported. Yuck. I went for the all-out in-and-out car wash with the vanilla fragrance, then drove home with all of the windows open. This morning J climbed in and said, “It smells like Halloween in here!”–maybe it’s a waxy smell like our Halloween candles? Anyway, it’s much better.
- The Windows Speaking of my shoddy cleaning standards exposed, there’s nothing like fabulous sunshine to remind you that you really need to get crackin’ on cleaning every. last. window. in. the. house. Awesome!
But still. Have I mentioned that spring is my very favorite season ever? I am so happy that it’s March! In celebration, one more picture, taken by M, of the first snowdrops of the season:
M has been honing her nature photography skills in honor of the upcoming American Girl Contest. I just realized that the contest isn’t merit-based. It’s just a random choice once you’ve entered. Part of me is irritated, because I do hate the idea that so many places are so averse to competition. But let’s get real: we all know that there are a million insane parents out there who would do the whole project themselves and submit it in their daughter’s names. So at least it takes the pressure off. If you or your daughter has any interest in entering this contest, may I suggest not trying to submit it on March 15th? I’m willing to bet lotsa money that the site will be crashing all over the place. Oh, crap! Speaking of love-HATE. The contest is only for kids who are 8 to 13. I just realized. She’s been taking pictures like a maniac. Oh, I’m so bummed! I haven’t told her yet. Dang dang dang dang.
I have a bit of a love-hate with American Girl. Really, I just wish that they were cheaper. I mean, the stuff is so expensive. And one thing I hate is when they have these “American Girl” events and all of these girls show up with their dolls, sometimes even dressed like their dolls, and it makes me feel a little bit nauseated. But the stories are great. I mean, the girls are all wonderful role models. The story that just killed me was when Addy was torn between giving her money to help other freed slaves reunite with their family or to “selfishly” buy her mother a lovely gift. Come on. And the dolls are adorable, and the accessories are unbelievably adorable.
Speaking of places where you’re likely to see happy little girls toting American Girl dolls, there’s a special American Girl Night on July 14th at SPAC during the New York City Ballet Season. On July 9th & 16th they’ll have special Family Nights which will include Children’s Workshops, ice cream, face painting, and other fun. There’s a 10% discount if you order evening tickets before April 15th.
Wow, I started with spring and I’ve come full circle. . . because you know that the best thing about spring is that summer’s just around the corner! Woo, hoo!