You Can Never Hold Back Spring

By Beck

The top of the small climbing gym popped above the snow in the backyard yesterday, which is how I know that spring is finally here.

We still can’t quite go into the backyard yet – it’s DEEP snow back there and soft and we sink in, hip-deep. (Or shoulder-deep, in The Baby’s case.) But soon the snow will recede and go and our yard will suddenly be ours again, rescued from winter’s clutch. The Baby’s birthday – April 21st – seems to the date that marks our real return to our yard, if pictures are anything to go by, although the sidewalks and streets are bare and revelling in The Exposed Dog Poop and Tim Horton’s Cups Of Early Spring.

Here is another sign of early spring: I affectionately ruffled The Boy’s hair this morning and realized that it was full of sand. Ick! So he had an emergency hair wash before school, with him complaining the whole time, which was pretty funny. And The Baby drifted into my room this morning, complaining bitterly that there were “weird screamy things outside” and it took me a few foggy minutes to realize that she was hearing birds. And The Girl has new rubber boots to wear to school today.

We went to the farm supply store out on the highway with my dad the other day, and they very cleverly had a poster for baby chicks right at my kids’ eye level. By some odd coincidence, my children decided right at that minute that they would become egg farmers: they would sell eggs to the neighbours! We’d be rich! It would surely be a practical thing to order a crate of baby chicks right that very minute! I laughed all the way home, imagining my soft-hearted husband as a chicken farmer. He would have the oldest chickens IN THE WORLD.

One of our cats is suddenly very, very old. You know that pets are going to get old fast, but their initial baby cuteness seems to promise otherwise and the next thing you know, your very gentle cat is a sweet little old lady and your husband holds her in his arms, the two of them looking out the window at the winter snow ebbing away. The children are very gentle with her, her old age corresponding nicely with the kids suddenly being so grown up, and I often go in to wake up The Girl and find our old, old cat curled up with her.

Who knows what my cat is thinking when she looks out at the melting snow? Perhaps she is mourning her lost, drama-filled life as a tough, short-lived barn cat. Perhaps she is watching for the returning birds, feeling her remaining strength still twitching within her. Or perhaps her eyes are seeing, in the calmness of the animals, her final spot, still covered right now with snow.

Beck blogs at Frog And Toad Are Still Friends.

18 Responses to You Can Never Hold Back Spring
  1. erin k
    April 2, 2009 | 10:12 am

    We would be able to see grass now if not for a very heavy snowfall on Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s coming, I know it is, but some hair-sand as proof might be welcome around here.

    (and if your title is a Tom Waits reference, then I must say, I love you just a bit more than I did before.)

  2. Heather
    April 2, 2009 | 10:25 am

    “And The Baby drifted into my room this morning, complaining bitterly that there were “weird screamy things outside” and it took me a few foggy minutes to realize that she was hearing birds”


    We have no evidence that spring has actually come until the brown turns green–and even then we can have a huge snow storm. Our flowers seem to know and only the hardiest will bare their head before that time.

  3. Heidi Ashworth
    April 2, 2009 | 10:25 am

    Weird screamy things–so funny!

  4. mimi
    April 2, 2009 | 10:30 am

    Weird screamy things. Ha! Munchkin used to make gentle bird tweets, but now she’s modeling her impression on the giant crows that are enthusiastically hollering outside OUR windows now. Ah, nature.

  5. His Girl Amber
    April 2, 2009 | 10:36 am

    You’re right. There’s something about a young little kitten that makes you believe that this is the one cat in the world that will never be old- just like we thought we were the one teenager that would never age either…

    and my baby boy would never be old enough to say to me “I really like her, and I don’t want to wait too long and get stuck in the friend zone” like he did this morning.

    that’s right, spring brings all sorts of new surprises when you have teenagers. *sigh*

    btw, weird screamy things outside? that’s hysterical.

  6. chelle
    April 2, 2009 | 11:40 am

    We are so ready for spring!

  7. SSbeacon
    April 2, 2009 | 11:49 am

    Any chance that you were at the Peavey Mart? It’s my favourite farm supply store. Where I go to buy all my shoulder high plastic gloves and calving sleds.

    I have a late April birthday, too. And my parties always seemed to herald the start of spring.

    Our neighbour’s have a litter of 8 puppies (Yours for the low low cost of $400 — recession? What recession?). And for reason the contrast of new puppy silliness has helped my kids become more understanding of our rapidly aging senior dog.

  8. Stacy
    April 2, 2009 | 12:35 pm

    I’d probably also have the oldest chickens in the world. 🙂

    It’s so hard to see pets get old.

  9. Cyndi
    April 2, 2009 | 12:38 pm

    I would love to have that much snow, but not in April.By the time March gets here I start NEEDING some green

  10. Nowheymama
    April 2, 2009 | 1:13 pm

    We went to the farm supply store today!

    Piles of dog doo? Check.
    Wild screamy things? Check.
    Snow on daffodils? Check.

  11. Jennifer
    April 2, 2009 | 2:27 pm

    I’d like to spend just one day with The Baby. She cracks me up.

    I cannot even imagine sinking into snow up to my hips! Wow. But while I’m spending that day with The Baby, I’d like to try that, too. 🙂

  12. Amy from Occupation: Mommy
    April 2, 2009 | 2:39 pm

    Hey, some of those “weird screamy things outside” are building a nest in our porch roof!

  13. Becky
    April 2, 2009 | 5:19 pm

    My dog is getting old … she is only eight but this last year she has really started acting old at certain moments.

    Spring is coming… ours is always fashionably late as well up here on our mountain. Not as deep as yours but just enough to freeze the life out of the latest haul from the nursery.

    lol, weird screamy things.

  14. Janet
    April 2, 2009 | 5:27 pm

    I can’t believe you still have that much snow! Same province, worlds apart…

  15. Kat
    April 3, 2009 | 12:08 am

    HAHAHA! When you mentioned having a chicken farm I thought “oh how lovely! I want one!” And then you mentioned that your hubby would have the oldest chickens EVER. HA! That would be me too! My husband always tells me that I’m not cut out for farm life. I could never kill an animal, much less one I’ve raised and taken care of. 😉
    This is such a lovely post. Your sweet old cat with your soft-hearted hubby and your kind kiddies. Love it.
    And the baby being mad at the birds! HA! She is a hoot! I’m that way in the morning when the birds are too loud too. 😉

  16. PastormacsAnn
    April 3, 2009 | 1:35 am

    Oh Beck, this post gave me a knot in my throat. So lovely.

    Nicely done. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  17. Ser
    April 3, 2009 | 6:11 am

    Aah, this reminds me of springtime while growing up in Alaska. We called it breakup. I remember well the unearthing of all the trash and mud when the snow finally melted. And yet somehow it is always still beautiful!

  18. Erin-Words From A Busy SAHM
    April 6, 2009 | 9:32 pm

    I am so ready for spring. We have had a lot of rain the last week or so. I thing our grass if going to grow to high that its going to hide our house.

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