Though it is just 28 degrees outside on this sixth day of April, I am sure spring is out there somewhere. It will come, I keep telling myself.
Raising kids is the same. You bring that baby home from the hospital, he turns your world upside down. The days are long, the nights are longer. And you cannot anticipate how the siblings will respond.
When Matthew was a toddler, for instance, older sister Bethany decided we needed to sell him. I picked up the phone, thinking if I played along she would retract in horror at the thought of selling her cherub cheeked brother.
"Hello? Yes, I have a boy whose sister has decided he needs a new home. How much? Just a minute."
I put the phone down. "They want to know how much."
She held up her hand, spreading her fingers wide. "Five dollars?" I asked. She nodded her head, never even turning away form the television.
"Five dollars," I said, trying to keep a straight face.
"Here, he will want this," she chirped when I hung up the phone. Without any hesitation, she handed me his favorite Donut Man video. How nice of her.
I came screeching to a halt, explaining how we could never, no never, sell baby brother Matthew. To my surprise, she was disappointed, but he forgave her for that and I am happy to report they remain friends to this day.
When I brought Ben home from the hospital, Matthew was three. He pointed at my stomach and said, "I thought you already had the baby!" It took a while, but I forgave him for that.
A few days later, he wearily asked, "When is that baby's mother coming to pick him up?" I tried to explain that I was that baby's mother. It took some time, but he forgave me for that.
The baby season can be hard on everybody. Adorable? Yes. Exhausting? You bet. But buckle your seat belt, the next season is coming.
Someone has said that when it comes to raising kids, the days are long but the years are short.
It is true. You start out changing endless diapers, then one day you realize your son's whiskers scratch your cheek when he hugs you.
I am so tired of cold and snow. I regularly check to see if any new shoots are coming through. I go to weather.com, hoping that maybe, just maybe, the temps will reach 40 degrees. I strain my eyes to see if there are any buds breaking through at the tops of the trees.
Waiting for a change of season can be agonizing. But eventually the next season does come. Both my youngest and my oldest will celebrate birthdays in the next 30 days, turning 4 and 24. For a very long time now, I have continuously been in almost every season of motherhood. Long days, short years.
If you're weary of your present parenting season, hang on. Just like spring, the next one will come.
"To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under Heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1
PS The Donut Man has been a favorite of my kids for over twenty years.