"Pretty soon spring will be busting out all over around here," Captain Fun's friend told him last week.
When he relayed the message to me, I had to laugh. We went to the beach over Christmas break and right on into March. When does spring ever exit south Florida?
I admit to a few cool days in January. But cold, like beauty, is only skin deep. One 45 degree day little Dorothy wore shorts to her second grade class-- where she was promptly sent to the office which provided her with pants. She didn't get it. I didn't get it. But then again, we came from the northeast where 45 is warm after the temperatures have hovered around zero for a good, long while. I sent an email to her teacher and thanked her.
"Please pray for my daughter who might get a job in Atlanta," said one of the ladies in my Sunday school class several weeks ago.
"Atlanta!" exclaimed another lady. "It's cold up there!"
Again, I had to laugh. And I had to admit that in my pre-Vermont days, I would have agreed with her, as my hometown of Memphis also seemed cold in the winter.
But now I know what real cold feels like.
Parenting is that way. The first baby comes and you are overwhelmed with fatigue and exhaustion. You're up all day, you're up all night. What could possibly be harder than this?
Um, how about the constant supervision that toddlers require? Or the terrible two's? Middle school issues? Teenage drivers? Dating? College admission? The list, or seasons, if you will, go on and on.
I spoke to a MOPS group about seasons of motherhood a few weeks ago, encouraging them to embrace each one. The preschool phase may seem impossible, I told them, but it really is the easy part--you control their whole worlds, after all.
A lot of freedom comes with embracing the seasons. It is how I am able to relax and rock the baby, wipe a nose, change a diaper or fix a PBJ sandwich for the millionth time. Because the parenting season is as brief as a south Florida winter.
Moms who were farther along in their journey used to tell me. I didn't listen. My own mother reminded me frequently, but I didn't believe her. But now that three of my kids are out of the house?
Now I know it.
"To everything there is a time, and a season to every purpose under Heaven."