Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Motherhood & More: Winter, the kids and I are done with you*


I’m tired of cold. And it hasn’t even been that bad this year.

But man, I spend a little too much time daydreaming about long, warm days filled with running and playing and swimming and better behavior. That last one is for my 3-year-old, who currently thinks he is in charge of everything and we all should do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. It’s been lots of fun.

I used to be such a winter person. I loved to hole up under blankets with my cup of tea or coffee and read for hours, staring outside at the gray days. Or knitting until my wrists ached.

But these days there is zero time for relaxing and even less for reading books. I’ve started three in the past month and haven’t gotten passed page 30 in any of them. And not to mention that my children have to be entertained continuously so that leaves little time for me to entertain myself in a way that doesn’t involve Duplos or board books.

And both the kids want to be outside, love to be outside. But we don’t get there often enough because the littlest one won’t keep her mittens on and also won’t stay out of puddles or the road. But I am trying. It makes me feel a little less awesome when it gets to the end of the day and I realize that I haven’t left the house once, not even to check the mail.

In the summertime we live an outdoor life. And it feels so good. My oldest runs in and out as he pleases — mostly out — and only coming in to eat or show me something cool he’s found. And it’s easier for them to find stuff to do on their own, without me constantly having to be right beside them.

January and February always are hard for me because somewhere along the way I got it stuck in my head that as soon as Christmas was over and the New Year came along, it was time for spring. My mind says it’s time for spring. My aching joints, as I am now old, tell me it’s time for spring. My bare garden patch tells me it’s time for spring. And my unruly children who would rather chase a ball outside than watch TV (sometimes) tell me it’s time for spring.

The only thing not cooperating is the calendar. And maybe the weather.

I am tired of goose bumps and multiple layers and wool socks — hand-knit, of course. I’m tired of boots and soups and staring wistfully outside. I’m tired of hats and gloves that won’t stay on. And I’m tired of restless children who I know would be much better behaved if only they would be allowed to swim in the pool or play in the dirt. Because they are bored, too.

They are tired of staring at these walls and playing indoor games. They are both physical children who love to jump and run and chase each other and wrestle and there’s only so much of that they can do inside without bumping into an end table.

So, collectively, let’s all think about warm sunshine and flowers growing. About planting a garden and turning on the sprinkler. About windows open and barbecues. About grass stains and mud-covered fingers, lightning bugs and s’mores.

And maybe, just maybe, we can turn that calendar a little faster.

It's just not the same.

*This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on January 25, 2012.

1 comment:

  1. Severns Valley closed their preschool so the hours on their indoor playground have increased. It is now open all day. I take the kids over their to run off some steam. And to be honest, I myself enjoy the massive slide. I use my children as an excuse to climb all through that thing.


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