The sun is shining and its touches of gold have begun to awaken the earth. Dormant blades of grass rise and stretch towards the sun, trees shake out their buds, and the blue sky, having survived another gray winter, waves proudly above.
Yet the air is cold. The wind circles around you, tauntingly reminding you that it will not be spring for many more weeks. And when spring arrives, it will not be the soft, delicate season we always imagine it to be. Bunnies will hop about the yard, yes, and crocuses will grace the edges of sidewalks, but the growth of new life is never be as peaceful as we hope. It is the trick season, the one that draws us in with the promise of sunshine and warmth, peace and beauty. We forget about the storms it brings, cold winds on sunny days and rains that soak the earth. The snow promises to stay aloft in fortressed mountains, yet strange weather fall from the sky and we watch daffodils turn white with hail.
“I have raindrops in my eyes, Mama,” my toddler sobbed to me, as his big emotions swelled and burst out of him, “can you make them go away?”. The storms that come in the spring years of life are sudden and unpredictable. Some days a cloud hovers over us and we camp out at home, watching the rain pour down the windows, waiting for the storm to pass. Other days are nothing but sunshine and smiles, the days that we will write into our memory books and carry with us until our deathbeds. And yet even on these days, the sun will start to shower and I will watch it glisten through the drops, wondering where this cloud is coming from. A scraped knee, a missed nap, a brother playing with the favored toy, a daddy who must go to work, a papa who lives too far away, a mother who says no – these are the torments of youth.
Raising two toddlers is like lassoing a whirlwind. They swirl about me, kicking up dust and dirt, their laughter thundering throughout the house. They are growing, their bodies shooting up and bursting forth. Their minds are beginning to buzz and the energy that has brewed within now flows freely, sometimes in smiles and joy, sometimes in pain and tears. This morning I held my son as he sobbed; the despair he felt at a slight reprimand had not been what I forecasted. His body dissolved into mine, and as I sang, the rain, rain eventually did go away. I wondered when it would return.
This is the trick season, the one rife with sweetness and beauty. The one with cold winds and sudden storms. Growth is beautiful, but it is not easy. The renewal of a barren landscape, the journey from infant to child – perhaps the real exquisiteness is not in the delicate flowers or sweet kisses, but in the transformation itself. Perhaps, this is the trick.