Is It Spring Yet?
By Patti Hermes – Parent to Parent – It’s raining/snowing/sleeting as I write this.
So much for an early spring, say the boys, as they head up to their winter cave full of video and computer games. Even when the sun does come out, it’s windy, the sidewalks are either icy or muddy (and some even have snow on them still), and the yards are so wet they might as well be ponds. As much as we all want to be outside, playing outside is another matter altogether.
So what’s a mother to do? I certainly don’t want to let them spend all their free time in the cave, yet I’m not about to go outside and play with them either. It’s the in-between time, between the melting snow and the deep deep muck. The playground is an absolute mess, and biking is uncomfortably cold. But there are still some cool projects that we should get started on to prepare for spring.
In the garage, a space heater comes in handy. Pre-biking weather is a great time for a bike tune-up. The kids can learn about the inner workings of their bicycles, and make adjustments as necessary. Tires can always use air. The chain probably needs some fresh grease (oh fun) and the seats and handlebars probably need to be adjusted for growth. You can find a comprehensive checklist here that will help an entire family of cyclists get back on the road this spring.
Once your bikes are ready, I bet there’s plenty of sports equipment and other outdoor toys that have been lying around all winter. Along with making sure your kids haven’t outgrown their cleats and athletic shoes, also check the sizing of their shin pads, baseball and softball gloves, bats and helmets. It’s better to find out now that your tennis rackets are bent or warped, rather than the first nice day you want to get out and play. Go through your inventory with the kids, and be ready to make a shopping list, for yet another rainy day.
When I think of spring, I think of gardening, and there are a whole slew of chores to prepare for the upcoming season. Except I prefer to call them projects as I enlist help from the young’uns. Again, heading for the garage when it’s too wet outside, this is a perfect time to build another raised bed. If we get it done before too long, the ground will still be soft and mucky, and it’ll be easier to put it in. I found an abundance of instructions and advice on the internet when I built my first one, so check out this entry at The Pioneer Woman for a start.
Some of my waiting-for-spring projects are big, and some can be small. Starting a few seeds in containers for the windowsill is one of my small projects. I know there are seed-starter kits out there that take up quite a bit of space, and there are ways to start them outdoors, even though it’s still quite cold outside, but I keep mine small so I’m not overly disappointed when they don’t all grow perfectly. A few empty yogurt cups, some soil and seeds are all it takes to get my children in the mood for food, fresh from our own garden, all summer long. But first , is it spring yet?