I don't rely on a calendar to tell me the change of seasons, I put my full trust in Hagley Park. Even though next week has a 90% chance of mittens and hot chocolate, today the sun was out, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom and I'm calling it like I see it. Spring is officially here. And quite frankly, it's about time. Sometimes I get all introspective as I run along lip syncing to Iggy Azalea. I think about how anxious I am for winter to be over. I used to be just as anxious for summer to be over in Arizona. I remember wearing boots to Jayden's soccer game in October. It was fall. It was my duty and obligation as a human being. And I sat there with a forced smile plastered on my face while everything below my knees was slowly getting drenched in sweat. The modge podge wooden Happy Halloween sign was up in September. The artifical Christmas tree limbs were in their color coded piles waiting to be assembled as soon as the Thanksgiving dishes were cleared. Come March we start planning our first lake trip and dreaming of summer vacations. I'm always anxious for the next season. Excited for what lies ahead. I need to work on slowing down and appreciating the beauty that comes with each season. And of course you know there's a metaphor coming. Because, ya know, introspective. And stuff. In figurative terms, I'm in the playdough/Disney channel/peanut butter and jelly season of life. It's my summer. The first part of my life was my spring, the season of developing and blossoming to prepare me to reach my potential. What I was meant to be. And I was meant to be a mother. I read every single Babysitter's Club book cover to cover and majored in Early Childhood Education. Of course every parenting and child development theory I learned went out the window the minute I was handed a baby that at 5:30 every single evening cried for two hours straight and didn't sleep through the night until she was a year old. And the Babysitter's Club failed to mention the part about suppositories when your baby hasn't pooped in a week. I've been in this summer stage of life for the past twelve years and sometimes I'm that girl dying my hair black in August, anxious for the next season and the slow hibernation of winter. Anxious to add the "25 Silly Songs" CD to the donation pile. To watch movies without anything furry, green or animated. To clean the car and no longer hold my breath in anticipation as to what I might find hiding under their carseats. To go out to eat as a family without french fries being thrown at the table next to us. But mostly I'm that girl wearing white jeans past Labor day, trying to stretch summer out as long as I can. This season of life is golden and thankfully there are still forts to be built, Goodnight Moon books to be read, band-aids to be put on chubby knees, dance recitals to tear up at, soccer goals to cheer for, Friday night homemade pizzas to be made, the weight of a sleeping toddler on my chest to be felt, and macaroni necklaces to be worn. As challenging as this season of life is, I'm not quite ready to pack away my swimsuit and say farewell to summer. The promise of adventure still awaits. I'm learning to take the good with the bad. The warm soup with the howling wind. The dip in the pool with the scorching heat. The love notes with the temper tantrums over socks that just don't feel right. There's a time and a season. So go carpe diem it up with some pumpkin bread and cinnamon scented pinecones while you soak in the moments of whatever season of life you're in. I'll be over here cutting a fresh bunch of daffodils for my kitchen window and contemplating dying Easter eggs. And then I'm going to read the Magic Treehouse to some boys who are just dying to find out if Jack and Annie discover the mummy.
Magnolia trees make me swoon. Even though every time I see them I think of Steel Magnolias. The image of Julia Roberts doing the ugly cry will be forever burned in my retinas.