Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring Forward

It's 45 degrees in my town today, and the snow-pack is finally starting to recede. Only in Minnesota would people get so excited about bare streets covered in winter-traction sand, narrow borders of brown, mucky grass around crusty gray snow, and mud. Let alone 45 degrees, which believe me, feels like July right about now.

I love spring. This should come as no surprise to you since I spend most of each winter, at least from New Year's on, writing about my urge to find a blanket, a fireplace, and some high-fat/high-sugar snack foods and not move a muscle till April. Also there's all the (figurative) banging my head against the wall and lamenting the loss of my will to live.

Today feels like a gift, this sort of day when after school the kids will be out in the muck, and we can leave the door propped open a tiny bit so the fresh air blows inside and sweep off the patio of its February detritus and take stock of which summer-fun supplies we'll have to restock this year: new sidewalk chalk, new bubbles, new sand toys to replace the cracked pails and shovels. And then the sudden realization that we still have three strollers in the garage, still used now and then even as late as last summer, but that this year will need to be sold or given away. I'll have to trade up to a little red wagon; after all, where do you put all your gear on your walks to the park--your picnic and your balls to kick and your sand toys for digging in the gravel and pretending to make dirt soup--if you no longer have a stroller basket to stuff with supplies? Ah, a new stage of life.

Which brings me to the one downside of spring this year--the fact that, after four consecutive years at our neighborhood co-op nursery school in the Methodist church at the top of the hill, our family is moving on. Genevieve is my last child at this nursery school, and she's finishing her second and final year there in May.

Four years is a long time. It's a long time to visit a place multiple times per week, socialize with a particular cohort of preschool moms, volunteer, attend parent-teacher conferences, visit on half-birthday days, bring the school snack, cherish the finger-paintings and pasta collages and spin art. I was the president of the board of directors at this school for a year, even, and spent countless hours in meetings there, helping it run smoothly and managing its backstage affairs. I'll really miss it--probably even more than my daughters will. There's just something about the very first place you bring your children to be taken care of by someone other than you for any consistent length of time.

So, spring. A new beginning, and the end of something that was once brand new too.


Rita said...

45 degrees is WARM?

Sheesh, woman! I've MOWED MY LAWN three times already! Today? High of 75.

Oklahoma! Start packing!

Mom said...

Yes, Rita, 45 degrees is WARM after you've lived through a Minnesota winter! On the day Shannon refers to we, 250 miles to the north, hit 47 (Ha ha, we win!)and when I went outside obliviously wearing my winter jacket because it's a total habit by now, I immediately felt HOT, looked up at the sun, and stripped off the jacket as well as the sweatshirt underneath! (Not to worry -- I had a tee shirt on too -- I have dressed in layers all winter!) People here are wearing shorts now which I find a little over the top but...can't blame them either!

And Shannon, there will be more and more of these "Aha! Another stage left behind!" moments as the years go by! But you have been busy making good memories in every stage and they will serve you well as the years pass!

Donna said...

I've been in this same place. I think this is going to be my daughter's last year at her school. My son went to that same school, too, so I've been there nearly every day for the past 5 years. (My daughter's current teacher was my son's teacher.) They truly are family. The feeling of 'moving on' has been hitting me this year often as I drive up to the school.

Donna said...

And even *I* wore shorts in March and April in 45 degree weather. Heavenly.