The Vulnerability of False Springs

“You do know the best part of winter, don’t you mom?”

“What’s that?”

“When it starts to get warm.”

Although it’s too early for it still, I know he’s thinking about that smell… that smell of spring that he notices before the rest of us see the tips of the leaves of the bulbs breaking through the frozen earth (how can those delicate leaves be that tough?!) and the forsythia start to turn chartruese.


I know I  don’t share his anticipation of spring any longer.  Maybe I’m just tired and worn out, but just kind of blah. This is becaus I’ve lived through too many Ohio winters, where I have gotten my hopes up with spring. Smelling it, walking bare-armed in it, believing in it, only to see more ice come, and my hopes dashed. And I’ve been left frozen, without a coat, while the cold bitter March winds zoom right through my chest.  I’ve been burned far too many times by false springs to ever get excited again.

But I don’t want him to know this, to discourage him, or to let him know that there is anything sad to be felt about the sloshy sidewalks that we are walking through, as the piles of snow melt. Or, to see anything but joy in the bright sunshine that floods our eyes.

So, I say instead, “No, the best part of winter is curling under a blanket with a cup of hot tea on the sofa, and hearing the phone ring, with a recording telling us that there is no school tomorrow.”

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