Many folks in our area have left town, taken vacation, or just taken a break from the everyday grind as Spring Break gets underway here. The groundhog’s six week extension of winter officially expired yesterday as the first day of spring arrived. Today, on this second day of spring, God had a surprise for Mr. Groundhog and sure enough gave us a break from spring.
Drifting by our window outside at a blustery angle is a steady supply of that wonderfully winter white stuff. I’m glad to be on the warm side of this window as the snow continues to pile deeper on top of the six inches we’ve gotten since we went to bed last night. With a steaming cup of black coffee at my side, I look out our second floor window and there seems to be no end to the spring surprise outside, not green but white.
As the saying goes here in Arkansas, “If you don’t like today’s weather, just wait ’til tomorrow,” as illustrated by the following forecast:
Yes, spring has sprung, at least according to the calendar. But with today being the second day of spring you sure wouldn’t know it by walking outside—a couple of days ago maybe, but not today. I believe the calendar printing folks forgot to consult with the authority on the subject, since God seemed to have a different plan for our weekend. A 100% chance of snow and sleet was predicted for last night, and although it keeps falling outside right now, hopefully it’s our last blast of cold air before Easter.
Many things are happening during this time of year such as Spring Break, weather changes, and college basketball tournaments, but one of the things happening at our house is the beginning of our busiest birthday season of the year. The arrival of our daughter Olivia a couple of years ago delivered us a March birthday. In the midst of the upcoming holidays of Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, along with our wedding anniversary, we will have celebrated seven birthdays by the end of June. Quite a busy time for us.
Olivia’s second birthday has brought several pleasant changes at our house that we had not really anticipated. It’s hard to imagine, considering the fact that Katrina had been pregnant or nursing for the better part of the past ten years. Needless to say, crying has been common around here. Olivia’s mouthful of teeth means no more teething (or the screaming that goes with it). The baby bed will come down and the high chair will be on the auction block soon.
One of the most exciting things to come will be our last round of potty training, which will thankfully bring the passing of trips to Wal-Mart for diapers. Won’t that be a blessing to our family budget? Woo, hoo! You know that it’s time when Olivia roams around the house announcing to the world around her that she has poo-poo in her pants. When she finds someone willing to change her, usually Mommy, she walks to her bedroom, gets a diaper out herself, hands it to Mommy, and lays down to be taken care of.
Those small victories are the ones that you don’t really think of. A couple of days ago Olivia had a cold, and as we studied the side of the cold medicine bottle to see what the required dosage was, we were relieved to have finally moved from the “consult your physician” section to the “age 2, your parents can decide now” section. We are moving on to new territory in our life.
When kids approach this wonderful age, what is it about them that makes them want to fill their pockets with marbles, acorns, or whatever they can get their hands on? Very early on they seem to have no trouble at all latching onto the word “mine”. We all go through this life as gatherers. The evidence is in our garages and closets that are overflowing beyond capacity.
Right after Hannah’s recent delay from the tooth fairy Holly became a victim of our little “gatherer”. We were so relieved to have gotten past the bad tooth fairy incident and were so determined that the tooth fairy would do better on future visits. We got our next test almost immediately.
The day after Hannah’s tooth trade, Holly lost her second tooth. Being quite sensitive to the issue of getting this tooth fairy thing down, Katrina told Holly to retrieve the tooth holder immediately and to put her tooth on the shelf in her room, which she did. Later that evening, when it was time to leave the tooth out for the cash exchange, the tooth had vanished. We looked high and low but did not find the tooth holder. Holly went to bed disappointed and we went to bed bewildered.
The next morning I was scrambling to get out the door for work. Olivia has had a fascination with shoes, and she had been playing with mine the night before. Although my shoes were not together, I did spot both of them in the vicinity of my bedroom, which was a relief to me. As I went to put them on I noticed that one of them had something in it. I picked it up, emptied its contents into my hand, and hit the jackpot—two marbles and a tooth holder. The tooth bandit had been discovered!
Soon, more teeth will fall out, things will be misplaced by Olivia the gatherer, baby toys will be put away, and green grass will triumph over the snow. Diapers will no longer be needed here, Lord willing, until some day far, far in the future when grandkids may arrive.
I suppose that three or four months from now when the heat of summer is beating down on my brow I’ll be wishing for the cool breeze that’s blowing today. Olivia will likely be in the front yard, joining in with the rest of the kids as they gather wild cherries from our tree out front. Their faces will be red from the heat, hands stained purple from the cherries, and they won’t be as concerned about the heat as I am. They will have forgotten this second day of spring when the cherry tree had been covered with snow a few months earlier.
Written by David Steen, with God Smiling, March 21, 2010.