It’s the most absurd thing – this hot, beautiful weather in upstate New York.
It’s been such a delight being about to walk through our woods and explore the world waking up around us, weeks and weeks earlier than ever before.
And setting up the sprinkler for the girls to pirouette through in mid-March? Unreal.
My cabin fever has gracefully disappeared, replaced by the cheery budding beauty of new life all around us.
OK, maybe I do actually like Spring here.
“Remember, it’s a fluke,” Randi laughed as we compared temperatures between Myrtle Beach and upstate New York. It was going to be 77 here. Seventy-four in Myrtle Beach. And in the 80’s for the next few days. Randi was going to go spend yet another day playing golf and then practicing softball for the upcoming season for a local business’ team. And then shopping for a gown for yet another fund raiser.
I can not believe I am actually unpacking some boxes of summer things I had already packed away for our move to either Myrtle Beach, or back to the Cape. Squirt guns and bags of leftover water balloons from last summer are everywhere, as are the cute footsteps zig-zagging through my home in a dotted-line pattern. Piles of muddy and grass-stained clothes are collecting on any horizontal pieces of furniture, and happy, exhausted little girls sprawl everywhere. And I am LOVING every second of it. This is definitely proof-positive that I am in NO way going to miss winter at all!
When I was about three or four years old – my mom left me with an aunt while she went to do some shopping. While she was gone, I played with her neighbor’s daughter, who was the accomplice to just about all my adventures whenever I visited my aunt. I remember clearly how we were playing restaurant in the sunny warmth of the summer day – making dandelion-sprinkled mud-cakes for the fairies who lived beneath the enormous pine tree in my aunt’s yard.
The dandelion could only be used if it passed the “magic butter test”. That’s where you hold the fluffy yellow flower beneath your friend’s chin. If the yellow is reflected under the chin, it passes. It is definately made of “real butter” and the fairies will eat it. If not, it has to be rejected. When the cakes were ready, we delicately picked up all the cakes and crawled on our tummies to deliver the treats to our magical friends.
My aunt and my friend’s mother chatted while we played, talking about soap operas and the price of groceries and gasoline. They laughed and gossiped, their hands moving gracefully through the air as they expressed themselves in gestures as well as in words, trying to bridge the Greek – Latvian language barrier easier.
The more they chatted, the more mudpies we made. The fairies loved our cakes, and requested more because they invited all the ladybugs and caterpillars to come to tea.
And the more mudpies we made, the dirtier the pretty white dress with tiny flowers in various shades of pink my mom put on me became. And the dirtier my dress was, the harder I strained to wipe away all the clumps and splatters of mud. With mud-encrusted hands.
Finally, my aunt looked at her watched and said good-bye to her friend and turned her attention to me. And I saw the look of horror on her face.
“Your mother is going to be so mad at you,” she whispered in a horrified voice after my friend and her mom disappeared into their house, although I didn’t know why she’d be mad. Mom never got mad me.
“Look what you did to your dress!” she was starting to panic. She kept staring at her watch as she tried to scrape off at least one layer of dirt. I knew my mom had arrived because my aunt suddenly froze and her expression kept switching from a nervous smile to a deep frown.
Mom never said a word while we were there. And on the way home, I asked her if she was mad at me. She asked about what, and I pointed to my dress. “Aunt Nina said you’d be mad at me.”
“Did you have fun?”
I was kind of nervous – my aunt did say my mom was going to be mad. And she was an adult, so she would know better than I would. “We played restaurant and fairies came and they loved our food and then they had a party…” I told her all about the hose and using pine needles and acorns and sticks. And the dandelions.
And no. She was not mad in the least. She told me that’s why God had invented washing machines. And that I really should have more polite when we left…and given my aunt a great, big hug.
So now, as I look at my own five young ladies lounging about in exhaustion from yet another day filled with squirt guns and waterballoons, streaks of mud covering them, sneakers crusty with mud, my heart just gets all warm and tingly all over again. I asked them all if they had fun…and without hesitation they all laugh and say “yes”.
I am the luckiest Mom in the entire universe. Now, if only I had been lucky enough to realize that I am out of Tide…