It’s true! The Forsythia are in bloom, as are Bradford Pears (not everything about Spring is awesome—those things smell like dirty gym socks). I realized recently that for the first time since March 2005 I am both functional (e.g., not pregnant) and capable (e.g., not parenting a 4 month old) of being outside and getting heavy projects done. Put another way, that’s half a decade since I’ve been able to do what I do to keep the crazy away. Women talk regularly about losing their mojo but I didn’t realize until this year that mine had been hibernating. While other women drool over shoes and Coach purses, I’m pouring over seed catalogs and gardening websites.
Ray Bradbury fans? I randomly watched an adaptation of his short story All Summer In A Day when I was younger and the concept stuck with me. Note—if you’ve never read this one—do so.
I’ve been like Margot—missing the joy in life because I had once known the sun. But more than just sun on my skin, I need to hack weeds, rake leaves, make compost, and build new vegetable beds. I need it. Since I’m neither pregnant, nor the parent of a 4 month old I have been (metaphorically speaking) freed from the closet just in time to reach for the sun. Plus, all that stuff, a chore for many, is fun for me; I enjoy it even when I’m frustrated at the process and the project drags on longer than anticipated. I love coming inside at the end of a day with dirt-caked jeans and shoes. It is for a good reason that fate gave me two sons.
My sons are part of the reason my projects drag on, but I’m okay with that. It takes much longer to do anything when you are explaining “why” to a 3 year old and helping a 16 month old maneuver a shovel. They love to help and I’m getting to do what I need—we have a cooperative arrangement. And when they get bored being helpers they move on to the temporary sand box and the water table.
Elliot likes to drink from the water table, which grosses me out. Regular redirection is another time-consumer. But he’ll get it, eventually. Zach put in a bunch of boulders (big rocks he’s been collecting) and used a small bubble bottle as a boat.
Not only do we enjoy all being out there together, but I can also send Zach outside and he will just play, following the rules, alone. Since respecting limits and boundaries continue to be a source of strife inside the house, watching him manage on his own outdoors gives me hope.
Elliot—not egged on during dinner prep by a tantruming Zach—actually sat on the floor and looked at books. He did not spend the entire time climbing on the chairs to get to the table and screaming “UP”. He just. Sat. Unheard of for my little monkey boy.
The squirrels have been evicted from the attic, but stay tuned. I will update on the continuing saga of Stephanie vs. The Wildlife tomorrow. By last count the wildlife are definitely winning, but my double-reinforced compost bin is the first small step in my strategic battle plans. I also read somewhere online that it possible to annoy furry creatures so much that they just move into your neighbor’s yard. I doubt that is true, but I’m working on finding out.