At least twice a year I am caught by surprise. Sometimes pleasantly surprised, sometimes a little miffed, but mostly I am amused. Seasons! What a novel concept. And they change–every year! As a 13 year veteran of New England weather, you’d think I would finally catch on. But no, this So. Cal girl cannot overcome the expectations of childhood. Seasons don’t really change, just put on that sweatshirt sometime in December. And maybe pull out the umbrella on occasion.

I’ve noticed despair when slogging through the coldest, slushiest, or snowiest of winters. Will it ever end? How is it possible that summer is 90 degrees warmer? Were we really sweating it out in August? Then the smallest of changes begins. The snow banks recede. Stealthy buds open. Birds are chirping. I am shocked, spring is here.

There’s also despair on sweltering nights when we must break our resolve to conserve electricity. Crank up the A/C already! August is here and the indoor temperature is 92. How could we have burrowed under two down comforters just a few months ago? In a matter of days and weeks, the humidity clears. We inhale the crispness of apple cider and confusingly named lattes.

I realize that the changing of seasons happens in other ways too. That pre-dawn feeding when the newness of motherhood hit at full force. This child is mine. Mine for the next 18 years. I will never sleep again. But that season also passed. Spit up and diapers are no longer a part of my reality. I gingerly step into the next decade: mothering in the adolescent years. The mood swings. The power struggles. Was it that long ago that we drove home from the hospital, wondering how to care for that little guy without round-the-clock nurses? It was. I’m not too surprised.

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