When Spring Won’t Wait

spring parentingWinter can seem very long when you live in any of the colder regions of the U.S. The blanket of snow that seems to take forever to melt away, the thermometer that stubbornly refuses to go any higher, it’s Mother Nature’s tease at her worst. We say we’re looking forward to spring, when really what we want is a nice hot summer day at the beach!

As winter drags on, it becomes increasingly difficult to get the children to go outside to play. After spending twenty minutes chasing hats and mittens and finally getting a little peace and quiet, they come marching back in maybe five minutes later, whining “It’s too cold” and “I want hot chocolate”, peeling off their jackets and hats, letting them all fall where they may. The sun shining in a cloudless blue sky is no invitation to play in its warmth, because it’s still only 20 degrees outside.

But inside it’s all warm and cozy. On a sunny day, the heat streams into my living room, warming it to a balmy 76 degrees (feels like spring to me!). So while it’s too cold to actually go out and play in the dirt, which is still frozen anyway, it’s time to bring the outdoors inside.

Fortunately, we have a never-ending supply of magazines and catalogs, filled with the springtime of our dreams. Sometimes we just spread them all out and plan our upcoming gardens. Sometimes we plan gardens for places only in our imaginations. And sometimes the planning becomes too much to bear, and we have to head to the local garden center and get supplies to start our gardens indoors.

In a house full of boys, bringing dirt inside can be a dangerous proposition. But since I’m also a messy cook, I just liken it to cooking, and we make our messes in the kitchen. Sometimes, it’s warm enough to use the garage (after moving the car out), so cleaning up isn’t as important. Another place where dirt and children mix well is the bathtub. Just remember to sweep up the excess dirt before trying to wash it all down the drain.

With little kids, and small budgets, low-tech is definitely the way to go. Around here, the tools of choice are egg cartons and/or paper cups, some seeds (usually beans, they sprout quickly) and some potting soil. We’ve also sprouted seeds in a clear plastic glove, just putting a little water with a seed in each finger of the glove, then tying it around the wrist and hanging it up in front of the window.

Some seeds take longer than others, and sometimes nothing sprouts at all, just like in our real garden outside. Don’t let high expectations ruin the fun, you don’t have to have a green thumb to plant a seed. The fun is in the doing, regardless of the results.

Seeds can be like children, refusing to respond to the greatest of care, or sprouting in spite of themselves. Sometimes it’s better to step back and watch what grows.

Patti Hermes

Patti Hermes, Parent to Parent, is living the dream with her high school sweetheart, raising their boys in the Midwest because it's a good starting point for epic road trips. While writing, reading and homeschooling take up most of her time, she still blogs at https://writesforchocolate.blogspot.com.
https://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2017/09/nature-man.jpghttps://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2017/09/nature-man-150x150.jpgPatti HermesParent to ParentParentingWhen Spring Won't Wait by Patti Hermes Winter can seem very long when you live in any of the colder regions of the U.S. The blanket of snow that seems to take forever to melt away, the thermometer that stubbornly refuses to go any higher, it's Mother Nature's tease at...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids