Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Well, it doesn't much feel like the way we wish for Spring to feel; there's no denying that March blew in like a lion and felt no need to tiptoe quietly into April on little lamb hooves. The winds howl nightly and the rains...the rains. The rains are our constant cloying companion, the little sister who follows us everywhere and insists on being a part of everything we try to do.
But, we determined Northwesterners stomp, often sullenly, through our Spring days, peering at our 10-day forecasts to watch the temperature inch up and talking non-stop about the weather with anyone who will listen. Family. Friends. The mail carrier. Cashier. Fellow bus-stop waiter. The unsuspecting visitor searching for directions. If you visit the Northwest in a Spring like ours, don't stop in any one place for too long - not only will moss seep into your shoes, but Endless Rain Syndrome will surely pour into your ears.
Still, here on the farm, we appear to be dangerously close to getting our act together this Spring. Between the sanctuary we call the greenhouse and the godsend we call Tiffany the Amazing Farmhand, putting one foot in front of the other finally appears within our grasp. Baby plants are reaching for the soft diffused greenhouse light, our planting beds are turned, covered, and ready for that magical moment when the threat of hail passes, our ewes are growing new life, and our sturdy hens are persistently leaving us the most beautiful eggs our neighbors have ever seen. Soon the new flock that came into this world in the dead of winter will be adding to the dozens of eggs we can stack in the farm stand.
And, of course, we added a puppy.
Take that, Spring!
This year, despite the roar outside, another kind of Spring is upon us - our baby boy officially enters into adolescence (is it an omen that I had to type that word 3X before I got it right? I hope not.) When you're the parent of young children, the teenage years, I think fairly universally, cast a cloud of dread and fear across the sparkles in your new-parent eyes. But, of course, as you walk each day beside your child, the myths and blanket expectations fall away to the reality of your specific offspring, and the door that you thought would say "Teen" gives way to the path of just growing up day by day.
And so it is that we find ourselves with a newly-minted teen. Not a scowling, sullen stereotype that mumbles through the hidden blare of his iPod, but still the helpful conversationalist who insists on baking his own birthday cookies and laughs from his belly when he wrestles with his new pup. But, now, too, a person for whom creativity and imagination have the opportunity to come forward in real world applications. A person who can turn what's in his head into a YouTube video. A person whose decisions have consequences beyond a time out or a serious Family Discussion. And, yes, a person with highs and lows that sometimes leave us helpless.
A person who is leaving the child behind and turning into a full-fledged individual right before our very eyes.
While the tomatoes sprout in the greenhouse and the peas turn into shoots in the garden, while the puppy morphs from fluffball into lanky playmate and the young hens discover their own miraculous ability to produce life each day, I thank the universe for the gift of walking beside this unique and gifted teenager as he is born into his next adventure.