4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
~Shakespeare’s Richard III
I can’t get this out of my head. “Now is the winter of our discontent…”
It’s snowing again today.
Or should I say, “It’s snowing again today.”
Or in the voice of Owen Meany, allow me to say, “IT IS SNOWING AGAIN TODAY.”
The new thing in the pre-school parking lot:
“I don’t like to complain about the weather but-”
“I know! Last week when there was that flurry at Monday pick-up? I slid into her car trying to stop my minivan there. And it wasn’t even supposed to SNOW!”
Then a mother walks by in a stupor, with four kids in hand, “I need the sun. I need the beach. I need the sun.”
Oh, wait. That last one was me.
Dont’ get me wrong. I love the snow. I love sledding and hot cocoa, building snow fortifications (for an opportunity to discuss the “keystone” vs. the post-and-lintel systems in ancient architecture as seen in the Mycenaean Lion’s Gate from 1250 B.C…. yes, this is me missing adult interaction) and shelters in the woods. A lobsterman passed me one morning while I was running last month to say, “Ya ought to wear some covah’ on ya face when it’s this cold out.” (He was driving instead of lobstering because it was too cold to pull the traps. At 6°F (-14°C), the claws snap off when you band them. Who knew?!) Because when it comes to snow and winter, I am all in.
Around Thanksgiving we get all kinds of outside to check the changes of the season. In early December I’m looking for future flurries in the weather report, yipee! By Christmas we are loving the twinkling of lights and Frosty the Snowperson in the yard. January’s icicles illicit constant ews and ahs on every drive. February, I’ll admit… I’ve never liked February, but still, it’s got good sledding. I’ll give it that.
But my house has smelled like wet snow boots for four months (because I invert them on every heating vent in the downstairs to get them dry for the next adventure.) And the mittens are filled with the rot of wetness left to mildew in the bottom of the mitten bin. My son just put on a balaclava and said, “Ugh. This smells like Dad’s smelly head.” Because it does. It all sort of does.
When will this winter end? Or honestly, WHEN WILL THIS WINTER END?!
I don’t remember noticing winters going on and on and on like this. I used to have a real job, one where you drive to work, you mostly sit in a building, then you drive home, and for all this sitting, you get paid! The seasons passed by mostly unnoticed except for weekends, glances out the window, the occasional snow day and of course, summer (which is a teacher’s bread and butter.)
Now though, the seasons are everything. Every time I leave the house I have to procure four pairs of snowpants, eight (fairly) dry mittens, four coats, four hats, four gators/scarves/neckwarmers, and that’s assuming I’m not looking for stuff for me or my husband. Remember me? I walk at least 15,000 steps each day. And sure, 50% of those steps are up and down the stairs. But the rest? We are getting outside.
To wake up to snow again this morning was a spirit-crushing defeat. This weekend I heard that spring was on its way. I heard it from the weather people, from the mamas I text, from the woman at the farm stand which is open again but only on weekends. I even heard it from the birds at the bird sanctuary.
“Now is the winter of our discontent.”
They say tomorrow will bring 50°F (10°C) weather. And with that I’m sure we’ll have the requisite stomach bugs and flu-like symptoms as every nefarious bacteria and germ is reawakened from the mud that lies beneath the snow. But, I have to say, the birds are ready, the boots are ready, the mitten bin is beyond ready.
And we, we are ready for spring.