The Spring Fling Working Thing (tf)

I guess I can’t deny spring any longer. I took my daughter to her first softball practice of the year today. The grass was green and the sun was strong enough to give all red noses. Watching a baseball in the air, and hearing it being caught and hit….that’s the end of winter for sure. All the girls seemed invigorated to be on the field again, getting fresh air into their lungs and having a good time, which is why baseball is called a “game” after all. Grown-ups haven’t ruined the game for these girls yet. It’s competitive up to a point. They like to win…but when the game’s over they’re still more interested in the post-game ice cream than the final score. If she wants to play in the years ahead that’s fine with me. But if it stops being fun, I won’t miss it in the least….and I trust she won’t either. Grown-ups have the nasty habit of forcing kids to stop acting like kids while they’re still kids.

Today I heard the distinctive sound of a lawn mower, which reminded me that I still have the snow blower in the garage and the lawn-mower in storage. I know this has to be dealt with eventually, but I had such a hard time figuring out when I should make the switch that I decided to put it off entirely until next weekend. I’ll probably be thinking more clearly then.

We have a trampoline in the backyard for the kids. I was content to leave it up all winter but was outvoted 1-1. So last fall I took it apart and packed it all up nice and neat in a box. This pained me greatly, especially since I lost about 8 screws in the grass and figured I’d deal with that later. Now is later.

I remember that it took me hours to put it together last spring. Two hours to do it wrong. Another hour to undo what I’d done. And another 2 to do it right. I’m in no hurry to go through this again, but of course I don’t jump on the trampoline. My kids do, and as they are reminding me daily, it’s now spring. I made such a mess of it last year that my neighbors, normally quiet, friendly and private people, made a point to sit on their respective back porches to laugh at me in mid-struggle. They tried to be discreet about it but weren’t very.

So the days get longer and the nights get shorter, which means there’s more time to work outdoors on stuff that needs doing that we don’t want to do, and less time to sleep off the side-effects, which increase in intensity and duration as we get older. I detect my grass growing and the absence of my porch furniture and the dried-out mulch that needs replacing and the fact that my car is supposed to be red and is not supposed to have 6 month old french fries smushed in the back-seat. I don’t have the excuse of a nice snowfall to cover up these things, which may be why I dislike spring so much. It doesn’t leave enough to the imagination.

But so what. It may not be for me anymore. Spring is for kids who still like being kids. Spring is baseball and ice-cream and drive-in’s and the last quarter of school, which means…..well…..maybe spring is summer with something in the way.

–Tom Flannery

~ by admin on April 10, 2011.

One Response to “The Spring Fling Working Thing (tf)”

  1. Re trampolines. Our tactic was to leave the trampoline to the girls, which generally worked out well. They put it up in the spring, they took it down in the fall.

    They were motivated to put it up, for obvious reasons, and they were equally motivated to take it down because a trampoline, after a winter bellied under a snow-load, loses its bounce. (So many people leave their trampolines up all winter–don’t they know that?)

    Gillian has been known to do the entire job by herself. Just saying, your kiddies will find a way, if Dad fails them.

    We sold the thing last Xmas. A lady came up from Harrisburg to collect it. Gillian and Hilary dismantled it, packed it up, and loaded it into her car.

    This young mother was under financial stress, and wanted a nice present for her little boy. After years of use, our trampoline had its issues, but thanks to the girls’ diligence (getting it down before snow), it still had all its bounce!

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