“In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.”–Mark Twain
Oh my heavens, Spring has sprung, my dears. I know this because the school system has informed me they are taking a “break” and they’re giving the reason for said break as “Spring.” But let’s also please note that one of these days off is called a “Snow Day.” Which is stupid, but at the same time makes total sense, because it is March in the South, and anyone who has ever bought a sleeveless Easter dress knows that technically a Snow Day could still happen.
I think Spring is a great illustration of a paradox. If Spring were a person, she’d be that friend of a friend that comes up to your table at dinner, wearing 3 scarves and open toe boots (talk about a paradox: boots that require a pedicure to wear them?? Why are you doing this to me, Fashion??) and an armful of jangly bracelets. She’d airkiss everyone at the table and tell a bunch of stories that require lots of hand gestures and all start with “Y’all are going to think this is so funny…” She’ll gush about the locally sourced butterbean hummus and then breeze off so quickly the menus fly off the table and you look at your friends like, “WHAT just HAPPENED?? I love her, but I’m so glad that’s over. I’m exhausted.”
(Incidentally, have you ever noticed that when someone starts a story out by saying, “Y’all are going to think this is so funny!” it rarely turns out to be all that funny?)
So, anyway, y’all are going to think this is so funny. I’ve come up with all the ways Spring starts out being cute and bubbly but then ends up being a scattered, smothered, covered hot mess.
1. YAY! The days are longer! Yes, the days are longer. As a matter of fact, each day gets longer and longer by very small fractions. And by those same small fractions, it gets harder and harder to explain to the children that they MUST go to bed, even though it is still light outside. Even though you lay it out very clearly each of the 5 times they come down the steps after you’ve forced them into bed. Even after you’ve explained the earth’s rotation around the Sun. Even when you’ve demonstrated several times how to “just close your eyes and lie very still.” Small fractions of your sanity chipped away, friends. Just love the longer days.
2. Oh, and we have Spring Break! It’s like practice for Summer Break! Oh my heavens. No school for 10 days. Everyone at home. All together for 10 days. Let’s think about how 10 days is about 1/8 of the length of Summer Break. Can’t wait for 8 TIMES THE FUN AND ACTIVITIES. Practice makes perfect, right? My children’s school does Teacher Appreciation Week shortly after Spring Break. Coincidence? I think not. The levels of parental appreciation of teachers has to be at a year-long high after Spring Break. We can’t believe the teachers have made it this far and heaven help us all when the parents have to take the reins again in just a few weeks.
3. Everything is just growing and blooming and it is all so beautiful! So true. Everything IS growing and blooming! The weeds are growing all over the lawn. The children have grown right out of all their clothing and shoes. And as for blooming? I think there are actual plants budding inside my head. If someone took an x-ray of me from the neck up, I would not be surprised to see an azalea taking up residence there, it’s spiny branches poking the back of my eyeballs and little pink blooms tickling my ears and the back of my throat. This brain azalea is being consistently watered by my weepy eyes and nose. I don’t think I’m alone here. If you take a look around, it seems that Spring has brought the entire Southeast to tears with its wonderfulness. Beautiful, indeed.
4. The weather is so nice! We should open the doors and windows! Oh, I do love it! It IS so great to open the doors and windows! For about 2.75 days. Somewhere around Day 3 of Spring, opening the doors and windows becomes a choking hazard. The clean, fresh laundry-scent of Spring’s Day 1 gets replaced by pollen particles the consistency of airborne quicksand. Oh, and guess what else is back? Bugs. Swarms of bugs. Forgot about those, didn’t you? Well, they are back, they didn’t forget about YOU, and they don’t want to be outside, either. They want to be in bed with you. Awww, how sweet. Shut the damn door.
5. We can wear shorts and flip flops! Oh dear God. The shorts and the flip flops. Can one ever be truly ready for the shorts and the flip flops? Friends, these toes are simply not ready for Prime Time. This caterpillar would like to stay in the cocoon a little bit longer, please.
6. Warmer days are ahead! They are. And before we know it we will all be reduced to a puddle of sweat, enduring heat advisories and sunburns and electric bills that would make a 1%-er cry. But before that gets here, how about a random weekend of freezing temperatures? Just to keep things interesting. It’ll happen right around the time we pull out the shorts and the flip flops and spend the day planting delicate flowers in our yards for growing and blooming.
Spring, I love you. Spring, I hate you. But either way, you always make me cry.