Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Playing in the Grass

I'm not sure if I could possibly be any happier that springtime is here. Loyal Jenning Family blog readers have surely heard enough about how much I love spring, how long I've been waiting to once again throw open the windows and let the birdsongs fill the house... how much my hands have been aching to feel the earth, to pull with all of their might at the most stubborn weeds, to take on that scratched up, stained patina that comes only from gardening, from the soil that gets under your fingernails that no soap or scrub-brush can reach, from the juice of fresh picked berries, from the golden pollen of lilies...

The first mild sunburn from the days that you don't think it's warm enough to get sunburned, but you're hot and sweaty from working, so you toss your sweatshirt aside. You don't realize you've burned until you get in the shower and the hot water stings as it splashes off your skin. ...the smell of bug spray and sunblock. ...slivers, thistles and thorns stuck in your hands and arms from berry picking, weeding, or tearing out shrubbery. ...aching back and legs from the first long days of leaning over your current project, digging out trees, planting seeds, building a mailbox post or flower boxes. Ahhhh, 'tis the season.

You may recall from my earlier post that Gavin had not yet experienced the wonderful freshness of grass. The fresh coolness of the morning grass before the sun has had a chance to warm the ground. We take grass for granted. Our kids play in the grass, we lay down for a rest on the grass, the birds build their nests in the grass, our pets romp and pounce in the grass, and yet we barely notice it. It's a bit of a surprise that a person can live for almost six months in rural Wisconsin and not have any idea what grass is. When you're born in November, I guess it's not that crazy. This weekend was our yard's big debut. For the first time, Gavin played outside without the warm snuggly comfort of his stroller. He sat in the grass with us. He sat still and quietly, absorbing all that was new and different. He carefully and gently felt the grass with his bare hands, staring down at his hands as his fingers ran across the soft cool green ground. We sat this way for a long time, Gavin listening intently to the songs of the birds, watching the flock of Cedar Waxwings swoop from the big boxelder tree down to the birdbath for a drink and a swim, then back up to the tree and down to the feeder and back to the tree again. Drake rested by our side, impatiently watching the birds, yearning to chase them, nudging us with his wet nose. Gavin took it all in. It was intriguing and exhausting at the same time.

He was soon overwhelmed with it all and closed his eyes.

Sunday was another beautiful day, even warmer than Saturday. Gavin traded in his camouflage fleece hat for a trendy little khaki sun hat and spent the day with us out by the garden. We dug out and moved a Silver Maple tree, a pink Flowering Crabapple tree, a whole plot of Irises, a dark magenta Peony, a few more Rhubarb plants, what was left of the Strawberries, a bunch of False Sunflower, and a few random Winter Onions and Chives. Gavin spent some of this time in his stroller and some of this time laying in the grass. He wasn't too happy in either spot, so he ended up going to Grandma and Grandpa's for a little nap while Mom & Dad kept working outside. It was a long day with a whole lot of back-breaking shoveling, but a very welcome sacrifice to make for the nice weather. I'll take transplanting on a sunny day over being stuck in the house on a cold wet day any time!


Kristin said...

YAY SPRING! I can't wait to visit and spend lots of time outside with you guys.

Dreams and Designs said...

You have a great way with words!! And love the hotos too!

Mom said...

Seeing and reading the pics & comments makes my day. . keep it up! That precious boy is a blessing indeed!