First, it's the mittens. Left behind on sledding hills. Sparkling pink and red on the sunkissed slush.
Then it's the plastic dinosaurs. Abandoned in the grass one warm December day, only to be trapped in the ice for the rest of the winter--a cruel reminder of their past problems with climate change.
Next, it's us. The humans.
It is not natural for us to spend our days inside. To run from the front door to the car. The car to the front door. It goes against our stone age brains, which need sunlight--and Omega-3 fatty acids. As someone famously said thousands of years ago, "Me sick of stupid cave. And where's the fish fry tonight?"
For me, the winter creates a lot of anxiety.
I read where you are supposed to greet your anxiety. Being on friendly terms with it gives it less power over you.
"Hello, anxiety," you're supposed to say.
For me, the anxiety usually dominates the rest of the conversation, focusing on past misteps, present finances and future dangers.
I nod politely.
Well, after the winter warmup, I took the conversation a step further.
"I'm going to have to ask you to leave," I said. "You're starting to sound like a broken record."
With that, I drove the boys to the park, blaring Gnarls Barkley.
It wasn't the balmy day we imagined, but we had a picnic anyway. Next, we walked down the sled hill and karate chopped some giant snow balls. Then we watched the water rush downhill under a sheet of icy cover. It pooled in giant muddy puddles.
J.J. kept pointing at them and saying, "Bath."
We got muddy and didn't care. Well, Richie cared. He has become quite the dapper young gent, and doesn't like his color-coordinated outfits to get dirty.
Today we ate "shrimp cottontail," as Richie calls it, on our patio for lunch. The ice on the patio melted. Not surprisingly, the dandelions growing between the bricks survived the 20 below windchill.
But the ground is still frozen. Wondering, Is this for real?