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Kristine: Spring Blues

It’s beginning to look and feel a lot like spring around here. The temperature hit close to 70 degrees, and for the first time since last year, I had the windows open. The fresh air circulated throughout the rooms, giving my stale house a fresh, earthy scent. I abandoned my usual turtleneck and sweats for a T-shirt and lighter stretch pants. My daughter romped around the house in actual clothes as opposed to her winter sleepers. The warm weather felt wonderful, especially for the hour we got to go outside and enjoy it.

Okay, so here’s my confession. I’m not ready for spring yet, and I’m going into all of this with a lot of trepidation. Yes, it was a long, cold, snowy winter. Yes, we had more ice storms and record snow amounts than I remember experiencing in a few years. And yes, there was that one night in February when I cursed the winter months because I had to navigate on poorly treated, ice-covered roads—again—to get to the grocery store.

But I’m still a little bummed out that the season is over.  Maybe it’s my personality. I’m very much a homebody who loves snuggling in my warm fleece clothes with a hot cup of tea on a cold night, preferably with a good book. It’s also probably the writer in me. I’d much rather work on cloudy, rainy days than on hot, sunny ones. I love snow unless I have to drive in it. The ice, however, I can do without, thank you very much.

When I became a mom 15 months ago, these feelings only intensified, and I realize now that it’s not so much my avoidance of the warm weather fueling these negative feelings than my reluctance to let go of my little daughter, the fear of her growing up too fast. With each passing season, she gets older and that much closer to leaving the nest. That breaks my heart.

A December baby gave me permission to hibernate with my newborn daughter for a few months. We stayed in our pajamas all day (probably because I was trying to get sleep anywhere and anytime I could and couldn’t give up precious sleep time even getting dressed) and didn’t have to go anywhere except the pediatrician or the grocery store. I loved that cherished, focused time with my daughter. I had that time with her again this year, but I know I’ve only got maybe another year or two left before it all disappears.

So while most people are busting open the doors to cure cabin fever, I’m hoping to close the door to my cabin for a little while longer.

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. cathy #

    kristine, this is very sweet (not treacly variety!)! i hope you get more cuddles in. then good outdooor cuddles in the sun: lay a blanket out in the backyard and cuddle away or during butterfly chases, chase her down for hugs and giggles. that was always my fav when the boys were little. they were awesome butterfly chasers!

    March 19, 2009
  2. Kristine, I know well the melancholy that you’re experiencing. The good news is that while you want to cling tightly to the current moment, the place that your daughter is at today — you can let go a little bit knowing that each new stage is increasingly wonderful. Different, yes — but there is beauty in every age, even amid the challenges of adolescence.

    Yes, if you’re baby-crazy like me, it’s sad to say goodbye to the cuddly infant stage. (My solution, apparently, is to just keep having more babies.) But the wonder you’re experiencing will not go away. I promise!

    I know what you mean about the fair weather — I always feel guilty if I stay inside all day when it’s gorgeous outside.

    Of course, nothing you can do about the weather OR children growing up. Short of moving to northern Alaska and having a dozen more, of course….

    March 19, 2009
  3. Kristine #

    Thanks, Miranda and Cathy. I know I have a lot more fun times ahead to look forward to.

    March 19, 2009
  4. Liz #

    Miranda beat me to it, but I thought I’d say “have another baby!” (HA HA!) I might, anyway.

    I love the beginnings of each season, the first gusts of hot or cold air and all of that, but I am so impatient by the end of it that I don’t care what’s next. I really can’t offer you much advice because I love watching them grow up & get independent! Babies are cute, but it’s not my “stage.”

    Hang in there, by the time you notice the flowers coming up, you’ll probably be more “in the mood” – it is only March, after all…

    March 19, 2009
  5. Kristine #

    Well, the verdict is still out on whether or not there will be any more pitter-patter of little feet in my house. 🙂 But thanks for the advice. You never know…

    March 19, 2009
  6. have more, have more! i sure would if i could. 🙂 i so remember that stage you’re in, and it was wonderful. my girls were born the end of july but spent a month in the NICU before i could bring them home. by that point it was late august…dog days of summer in fla…but we loved it anyway. we were cocooned in A/C like you were cocooned away from winter cold, but we would spend time out on the back porch enjoying a bit of summer breeze. i love cathy’s idea about laying out on a blanket in the backyard with your baby girl. sounds like a perfect spot to enjoy a little one to me.

    March 20, 2009
  7. Kristine,

    I feel like you, too. It seems every time we go out of doors, the fresh air stimulates my boys’ growth. Thursday afternoon while they played on the swing set I took a few pictures. Suddenly, Sam looked so mature, and where did the toddler with 4 teeth and red curls came from? That kid’s not the infant I brought home. Who’s he?

    Like you, it makes me want to run back in the house and bar the door against the change. Yes, every age is wonderful like Miranda said, but that only applies to other people’s children. In my heart, every time I look at the boys, I feel that welling in my soul that I did the first time I saw them. That sense that if I stared hard enough enough I could commit all their details to memory. But their details change and they’re changing so fast, I’m afraid I won’t hold on to all of them now.

    I am trying to distract myself from this melancholy with schizoprenic creative outlets. Dolls, paper dolls, my novel, my other novels, a child’s picture book, now I’m thinking about taking Sam to go paint pottery, etc… Maybe this is the secret to amazing productivity. As our memories slip away, we create to replace what’s been lost.

    March 21, 2009
  8. Kristine #

    Thank you, Kelly and Brittany!

    March 22, 2009

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