As we headed back to school on Tuesday after a two-week-long spring break, I really felt the importance of the seasons, our connection to the Earth and the rhythm our family has established in the past few years.
In March, we experienced the crocuses blooming and slowly dying, the tulips poking their heads out of the warm soil and the hyacinths blossoming in gorgeous pinks and purples. The forsythia in our backyard is currently exploding in bright yellows and we can see the fuzzy buds on the magnolia growing bigger every day. For my children, and anyone connected to Mother Nature, all of these signs signal the end of winter and the rebirth that spring offers.
For weeks now our girls, aged five and seven, have been following dad’s lead in the backyard — pinching off old, dead growth, weeding the garden beds, and “helping” to build a new greenhouse while I hide indoors trying to avoid the alder pollen that is leaving a fine green dust on everything. While it is beautiful, inspiring and enlivening, I never said spring was easy on us allergy sufferers!
When I was first faced with 15 days off of school and accepted the fact that under no circumstances were we going to Hawaii for the holidays, I was a little panicked. What was I going to do with the kids, on my own, for that long? And how many Benadryls was it OK to take in one day?
Well, we had a blast. We travelled around a little and were able to witness how spring was progressing elsewhere in B.C. In Stanley Park and on Vancouver Island near Cowichan Station, the daffodils were standing at attention and cherry blossoms were in full bloom. We enjoyed a day at the aquarium, participated in a friend’s wedding at Cat Lake, and the kids managed several ferry rides; while I was on a course, the family went to the Sunshine Coast for some cold-weather camping and beachcombing.
The Easter egg hunt we held at our house was beautiful as six little ones, ranging in age from two to eight, ran around finding — and then re-hiding — eggs in the grass, in trees and under gardening tools. That afternoon we took a new friend and her three-year-old daughter, who were visiting from Scotland, to Smoke Bluffs and little Arwyn got to experience her dream of climbing the steep rock.
The kids had chocolate on their faces and dirt under their fingernails for most of Easter Sunday as the sun shone down fair and strong, earning Squamish the title of Canada’s “hot spot.” It was an amazing culmination to our spring break and now I find myself longing for those lazy, endless summer days — particularly because then I will be able to enjoy it all without the haze of antihistamines.
Kirsten Andrews offers courses, workshops and private consultations on Simplicity Parenting in the corridor. For information like Sea to Sky Simplicity Parenting on Facebook, visit www.SeaToSkySimplicityParenting.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.