That groundhog told us six more weeks of winter on February 2nd, and I am glad to see those weeks come to an end. It is time to say goodbye to the winter that maxed out school snow days and made me question Portland’s ability to handle snow in general. Dear spring, may I extend a desperately sincere, long-awaited “Welcome!”
I am always energized by the burst of colors as spring begins, reminding my momma heart of a few of my favorite things this season brings in Portland, Oregon:
The Sicknesses Quell
OH MY GOSH! My kid’s doctor is a nice guy and skilled at what he does, but I would really prefer not to see him again until one of my four kiddos needs a well-child check up. This winter has nearly done me in. Undiagnosed maladies, strep throat, and guessing if one of the six in my family ate something funny or if a plague had descended upon our household. I am over it. Just stop, germs. I will kill you with all the bleach and fresh air that I can finally let into my house. Yes, the rain is still here, because this is still the Pacific Northwest. But rain is not something I gripe about anymore; it just comes with the territory.
Planting Things that Feed Us
I am by no means an expert gardener, but these last couple years it has been amazing to have actual food growing in our backyard. The whole family loves going to the local farmer’s market and each picking out a start for the season. Bonus: The kids will try anything we grow (at least so far). There is something about getting to dig in the dirt, and then watch it grow that increases their appetite. Last summer, my oldest child wanted a salad for lunch!!! I thought about the contents of our fridge, and told her we didn’t have any. I was shocked when she walked into the yard, picked the leaves she needed, and built her own meal. The fridge doors of my mind were blown clean off, and I suddenly felt a little more capable of surviving a zombie apocalypse.
I Can Say the Words “Go Play Outside.”
Winter has meant movie nights and board games, hot cocoa and fresh baked goods, blankets and cuddles, but the constant nearness of those I love most…well, let’s just say I am grateful that we are entering the season of outdoor play. The words, “go play outside” are how a momma says, “get out,” without sounding like a complete jerk. I love my children. I really do, but the noise level in my house can only remain at near concert-level for so long. Winter means more time in front of screens and abundant opportunities for petty bickering. Spring offers new venues for the imagination and a fountain of ideas about what adventure they can have next.
Concerts, Programs, and Graduations Galore
I still remember my mom’s face in the audience during a 6th grade band performance. There was something about the auditorium and all the unknown faces staring up at the stage that made her look indelible. Catching eyes with her just before the show helped me feel courageous, and at the same time, safe. Music practices can grow tiresome, but there is something special about seeing your child lift that instrument, sing that song, or walk across that stage. Their performance proclaims, “I made it. I decided I would do this, and saw it through to the end.” These extracurricular recitals and milestones are important. We offer our children attentiveness as a gift, and we stand with other parents in solidarity.