We raked the thatch from the lawn in front of the flower bed, weeded said bed and cleaned out the winter litter, and started turning the dirt in the vegetable garden to prepare it for the seeds we’ll drop there as soon as the sun has adequately warmed the dark earth. I pounded stakes for the pea trellis into the soft ground and returned to the front yard to find the kids in an impromptu t-ball game. That littlest one might be afraid of ladybugs, but not of much else, and she has a wicked swing of the bat.
The kids have been begging to eat outside, a request I denied just yesterday when the temperature was chilly enough for hats and mittens. But today it seemed shameful to be in if we could be out, so we lunched al fresco. Partway through our leftover pizza, we heard a familiar bird call that told us the hawk (broad-winged, I think) from last year was back. About an hour later I saw her flit past the still-bare apple trees toward the woods and the nest from last year, built high in an old white birch tree along the woods road.
We went for a walk to visit the grandparents around the corner. My son mastered riding his bike sans training wheels, striving to keep up with his twin sister, who has been pedaling free for weeks now. The “big girl bike” for the littlest one arrived at our doorstep, was assembled with only moderate consternation, and now she’s in the biking mix, too. We ate dinner on the porch, with background music provided by the peepers in the pond across the road, then rode bikes around the driveway some more.
Yep, today could have been tough. Instead, thankfully, it was beautiful in so many ways. It’s a gamble, during April vacation, to stick around northern New England. It could be snowing. It could be 70 degrees and sunny. It could be 40 and raining. Many of my children’s classmates and their families have fled for the week to safely sunny Florida, or at least as far south as New York City.
But today, the gamble paid off. The sun came out. The coffee kicked in. The kids played hard, and they are wiped. I hope they sleep tonight.