Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Gift of an Extraordinary Day

Mr. Weatherman says that it should have been in the low fifties today. Instead, we saw seventy. So I understand, every ordinary day is a gift. But today I'm here to tell you: So are the extraordinary ones.

On an extraordinary day, you'll fix the limbs of a naked tree against a blue satin sky and notice knots of red gearing up for a show. Suddenly, it doesn't matter if the pipes keep clogging or the beige makes you crazy. Spring is coming, Girls, and she makes things better.

We laced our shoes and tied Charles to Silas's back. We took some detours and walked on low stone walls. Around the bend, we found a Pussy Willow tree. It's been too long since I ran my thumb across one of those buds, all bundled up in their little fur jackets, the brave trumpeters at the gate announcing her arrival. My mom used to clip branches for me so I could wrap them in soggy paper towels and take them to my teacher. I could almost feel the bungle in my fist and there I was again, 35 and 9 at the very same time.

The kids skipped and ran, fresh air on forearms and cheeks, a prelude of everything that comes next. We were all thinking the same thing - Summer's coming! But we didn't dare say it out loud. Because for one thing, it could still snow. And for another? I didn't want to hurt Spring's feelings before she even officially landed. There's nothing worse than being relegated to opening act, especially when you're so dang good at putting on a show.

I've spent the last three months wondering where I went and if I'd ever crawl back out. Can it be as easy as a sunbeam and a breeze? I tell myself that I'm not that kind of girl, the kind that requires coddling, the kind whose joy is situational or seasonal.

But today I felt that ease. I wish I could tell you that I found it back in January, but that just isn't true. It must have been suffocating under all the layers, hiding out in the dark.

We ate both meals outside today.

We painted a birthday card for Daddy on the driveway.

Later, I overheard an argument through a blissfully open window.

Ruby: You're MEAN!
Calvin: No, you're mean.
Ruby: Besides, you're meaner!
Calvin: Well, you're the meanest girl in the Universe!
Ruby: No, you are!
Calvin: Well, I'm a fox and you're a plump chicken.

(I had no choice but to intervene at this point.)

Me: Well if Ruby's a plump chicken and you're a fox, I guess you really are the mean one.
Ruby: Yeah!
Calvin: {silence}

It reminded me of the classic time when Calvin was three and far too verbal for his own good. He was really, really upset at me. I don't remember why, but history would say that it had something to do with not being able to wear one of his sports jerseys. It would have gone something like this:

Me: Calvin, I said no.
Calvin: But Mommmmmyyyyy!
Me: Enough. I don't want to hear any more about it.
Calvin: (crying a little) Well, I'm from South Korea and you're from...from...NORTH KOREA!

Homeboy cuts to the bone.

For dinner, we high-tailed it to the park where we ate our picnic and then spent 30 minutes coaxing Silas to do his urgent business in the campground "bathroom". (Silas remains almost undefeated, FYI.)

We gave Daddy the gifts we lovingly chose for him: A pencil holder for his desk, a four-pack of highlighters, a match box car and a pack of baseball cards.

We hit up DQ on the way home. Calvin read snippets from his Lego Encyclopedia and Ruby shared her Arctic Blast with her brother without a second thought. Silas doled out his most affectionate words, "I tickle yewwwww!"

Straight up. I've never done a single thing to deserve this kind of happiness.

Dear gingham shirt and favorite jeans,

I wanted you so bad today that I got the shakes.
I had to leave the closet door shut. I didn't trusty myself.
But at least I had STATE.

See ya in two weeks.

I'm too scared to check the forecast for tomorrow, but I'm hoping that today has some sort of a time-release effect. I can already feel the ice dripping off of my cold, cold heart.

I'm back.

And no, that's not a warning.

And yes, that is indeed a threat.

And absolutely, I will be making a batch of salsa this week and eating it all within two days.

And thank you in advance for agreeing that switching from my wool bag to my Spring bag was not even optional today and that a purse isn't really an item of clothing anyway.

More yours than ever,