Seasons in Maine are not surprising, and I’ve always had affection for them all. From new school notebooks in the fall, the snow forts in winter, the first puffy-coatless day in spring, to the freedom of summer. As an adult, winter certainly presented the most challenges, with workdays meaning that sunlight is just a memory, to icy or salty grounds proving too harsh for a dog’s delicate paws. However, winter never truly became a four letter word until I became a mother.
This summer has been a freeing time for all of us. Shorts and tees are far easier to pull on my sprinting sons, and socks are definitely not required. We are lucky to live close to the elementary school, where we are happy to roam in trails far from traffic, and where I’ve found that a vacant Little League field can also double as a large outdoor baby cage.
This fall has been equally awesome, with the boys discovering the leaves that now line the trails of our walks and happily plunking down in them (regardless of the leaves level of sogginess), and we enjoy long drives with napping boys and gorgeous foliage. The weather has continued to be on our side, allowing me to be blissfully unaware of what’s ahead. The summer-like day we enjoyed last week helped fuel my contentment, until I overheard Todd Gutner add that this warm day would be our last. A nearly cold-sweat inducing dread came over me – winter was on its way.
For a stay at home parent with small kids with no social life of their own yet, winters mean isolation. As the days get shorter and shorter, the more I can relate to Ma from Little House on the Prairie, although I suspect she didn’t complain as much on her blog. The cost/benefit analysis of bundling up and braving the weather is a constant mental (and often physical) battle. Outdoor activities are limited to the willingness of both children to don the proper gear, and many of the indoor activities that may be a simple solution with one toddler (such as swimming lessons) are not easily achieved when the nugget to mom ratio is 2:1.
So it appears that it’s time for me to get creative, so I am prepared when the weather report takes that inevitable turn. All suggestions for saving sanity are appreciated. For now, I’ll take solace in one of the few perks of the season – footy pajamas.