Ahhhh, spring, welcome back, how I've missed you. In all fairness, we haven't had a bad winter this year, and considering I only used the snowblower twice, once in October and once in March, I really shouldn't complain. But I will because I don't like to be cold. As I sit here by the open window with the breeze blowing my hair and cooling me off, I'm ready for spring. I love hearing the children's voices as they play outside, riding bikes, scooters and skateboards. I love hearing their laughter as they jump on the trampoline and play tag in the yard. I love seeing people walking, jogging and playing with their dogs. I love seeing the plants as they peek their green heads out of the soil. I love hearing the birds' sweet songs as they communicate with one another.
When I was a child, spring meant shedding my winter coat, pants and long-sleeved shirt and replacing them with shorts, a t-shirt and sometimes a jacket. It meant crawling into the shed past the sleds and the shovels and digging out my bike and then racing off to join the other kids on the street. It meant playing outside from the minute I got home from school until I was called in for supper or bedtime. Hide-and-seek, TV tag, pickle and wiffleball became games played every day.
As a teen, spring meant planning trips to the beach with friends where we would don our bikinis topped with tie-dye tank tops, shorts and flip flops, climb in the car armed with Cokes and Doritos, crank the radio, unroll the windows (manually) and cruise to the beach. Once there, we would walk up and down the boardwalk, stopping to play volleyball, grab things to eat, lay out on the beach, check out the guys and the shops even though, to be honest, sometimes shopping and checking out the guys were one and the same. We would cruise the strip in the car or on the backs of cool motorcycles driven by complete strangers who were flattered that we wanted a ride and glad for a chance to show off their bikes. And as the sun went down, we would reluctantly climb into the car, crank the tunes and head for home, sandy, tired, usually sunburnt, and smiling.
As an adult, spring days mean a chance to throw open the windows, wash them and the window sills, and let the fresh air fill our homes. Spring days mean we can save money by not running the dryer and instead hang our laundry outside to dry while also allowing the fresh air scent to permeate our freshly laundered bedsheets. Spring days means firing up the grill. Those little plants poking their green heads forth means weeding out the ignored dead plants from the season before, watering, fertilizing, raking. The children playing outside means another very large room to clean as we go into the yard and collect shoes, socks, and jackets discarded by our own children and their friends. Toys need to be picked up, bikes and skateboards need to be put away, skinned knees need to be bandaged, bug bites need ointment, bee stings need to be iced, and children need to be bathed constantly. The kids don't want to come inside for supper or bedtime, never mind to do their homework, even though they can barely keep their eyes open from playing so hard. And at the end of the day, as they get tucked in, with the scents of bug spray and sunblock washed from their bodies, they are refreshed with their sun-kissed faces as they drift off to sleep, smiling.
Spring is also a reminder of things neglected over the winter. As we put on our short sleeves, we see flabby arms. As we put on our shorts, we see flabby legs. Flabby WHITE arms and legs that need toning and tanning. As we put on our sandals and flip flops, we immediately think pedicure. Suddenly exercise becomes a necessity as we stress over bathing suit season fast approaching.
Ahhhh, spring...I'm still sitting by the open window, exercising only my fingers as I type, sitting in the dark so I look tanner and covering my lower half with the laptop hoping the heat from it will burn off some of the flab, and all I can think of is getting out the tie-dye and hopping on the back of some cool bike or in a car with the girls cranking the music and cruising to Hampton Beach for some fried dough, and I am smiling.