Almost Spring

By Beck

Last night we went to the library at 7 p.m. and I found something disconcerting the whole way – which was, I realized, that it was still not dark out. Spring!

There is that moment when you realize all at once that winter is ending and that spring is rushing noisily into sight – the sound of running water as snow melts, the sudden shock of warmth in the air, the smell of mud (and let’s be frank, of dog poop). And I was outside yesterday (again!) and I heard birds singing wildly, heard birds again for the first time in months. This would be the nicest thing about living someplace that has cold, cold winters – they END.

Here’s a sign that you might live someplace REALLY rural: the kids are deliriously happy to see the end of winter because it means that they can wear their new rubber boots to school. FASHION! And so my ten year old dashes out the door in her pink rubber boots and with her jeans rolled up Huck Finn-style to her knees and my 8 year old runs around outside without a jacket and my four year old thinks they’re both nuts since there’s still two feet of snow in the yard. She’s too young to get it yet.

When I was in high school, the big thing was to go “down south” (to Toronto or possibly to Barrie) for March break and to strut around in our t-shirts because we were from the bitter north and their cold was nothing like the cold we knew, uh huh. And I find it hilarious to see the same goofy attitude in my own kids, shivering in the barely above-freezing snow in their rubber boots, risking pneumonia in their shirt sleeves, because this isn’t REAL cold. They know REAL cold. Yes, they’ve often looked at REAL cold from the safety of their windows, their mugs of hot chocolate clutched in their hands. That’s knowledge, right? But The Baby knows in her own secret way that this is not quite spring, not yet. She clings tight to her winter coat and keeps her feet warm, a dour, winter-clad little figure trudging through what is still snow, what is still cold.

15 Responses to Almost Spring
  1. Nowheymama
    March 4, 2010 | 4:16 pm

    I saw a high school boy walking to school in a short-sleeved shirt today. Who cares that there’s still a foot of snow on the ground? The sun is out!

  2. Louise
    March 4, 2010 | 4:21 pm

    The girls and I have been spending most of the last two days on the sunporch, reminding ourselves that winter is really, really going to go away. And I even opened the windows the other day, when it got to 40F outside, because hey! It’s practically spring!

  3. JoAnn Hallum
    March 4, 2010 | 5:41 pm

    For some reason, all I got out of this post was the idea that I’m really really glad I don’t live near snow. Or cold. I couldn’t live without my flippy floppies. I wear them whenever it’s not raining. I don’t really call them my “flippy floppies”. Maybe I do…The point is: BRRRRRrrr!

  4. edj
    March 4, 2010 | 5:46 pm

    Moroccans dress by the date, not the weather. So last week it was 78 degrees and freakishly hot, but everyone around me was still wearing wool coats.

  5. Becky
    March 4, 2010 | 5:57 pm

    When I was living in Florida we used to say we could pick out the tourists by what they were wearing. Flip flops and shorts in December. Even if it WAS 70 degrees, we knew that was too cold for flip flops and shorts. Goodness, 55 degrees brought out winter coats and boots in Florida.

    Enjoy the coming of spring. I have been hearing a LOT more birdsong these last few days. I know you are more worthy of a new spring than any of us, after what you endure during the winter months.

  6. Nicole
    March 4, 2010 | 7:18 pm

    I walked the dog at 6:30 yesterday and it was so amazing – so dusky and not dark! And next weekend is time change and that always seems pretty crazy. Hooray for warm(er) temperatures!

  7. Kelly
    March 4, 2010 | 7:51 pm

    I haven’t worn a coat ALL WEEK, and I considered wearing shoes without socks today.

    Spring fever? Yeah. There’s a reason they equate it with a sickness.

    (There’s a big part of me that believes The Baby is very wise. Very wise indeed. March isn’t known for being docile.)

  8. Omaha Mama
    March 4, 2010 | 7:52 pm

    I roomed with a girl from North Dakota (here in Nebraska). She wore shorts and birkenstocks all winter because our cold wasn’t REAL cold and she knew what REAL cold was. It’s hilarious how relative it all is. We are loving the mid-30’s weather here and in a few months we’ll be complaining when it gets down in the 50’s. I will always need to live somewhere with four distinct seasons, I love the cyclical nature of it all.

  9. Meagan
    March 4, 2010 | 7:59 pm

    One of my favorite things about living in Dallas is that we do HAVE a winter, but not much of it, and it doesn’t ever last long. We always get these beautiful, sunny 60 degree days scattered in with the cold ones. I can’t imagine living somewhere with snow on the ground all season. It’s just a different world!

  10. suburbancorrespondent
    March 4, 2010 | 8:24 pm

    Going south to Toronto? That concept just turned my brain inside out.

  11. PastormacsAnn
    March 5, 2010 | 2:06 am

    Awwww, so sweet.

    We’re ready for spring here, though we never experience REAL cold. 😉

  12. Jennifer, Snapshot
    March 5, 2010 | 4:44 pm

    Amanda’s deal (age 11 — she knows everything) is that her “big coat” doesn’t really fit in her locker. The other one she wears is light wool. It’s very cute but not waterproof, so not a good one to wear in the snow.

    Oh well. Whatever.

  13. Kat
    March 5, 2010 | 5:57 pm

    Yes, but the disappointing thing about March is that it tricks you into thinking spring is coming and then wallops you with more snow. Grrr. I do enjoy the warm up we’ve been having, but I don’t trust it. 😉

  14. patois
    March 6, 2010 | 1:04 pm

    I know we’re nowhere near real cold, but my boy has got the tude down pat: he wears shorts and a T-shirt and plays basketball or soccer (if he can sucker someone else to play with him) in the schoolyard after school as torrential rains beat down.

    I love it.

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