It has been a rough winter here in my neck of the woods. Bitterly cold for days at a time. Any warm up at all seemed to bring with it huge amounts of snowfall. It almost came as a relief when temperatures started to fall again. Almost.
Wednesday afternoon, I had to go out at lunch time, and when I walked out the door, a warm breeze hit me. There were birds singing. The sky was dark, heavy with approaching rain. I stopped. It felt like spring, and my response to it was an almost visceral joy. We are going into our third day of moderate temperatures, and the rain has melted off a lot of ice. I had to wade to my car after work last night, through about 4 inches of water that was not there when I parked the car that morning. All these inconveniences seem minor after the long winter.
Other breaking news: William watched grandpa carrying in his new crossbow, and began to jump up and down yelling, "Grandpa bought a new gun! Yay for grandpa!" Grandpa had a very good week. He also bought a 1982 GMC truck. The truck is nearly completely original. William began to yell, "Grandpa bought a new truck. Yay for grandpa!" Watching the response again, I turned to Tim to ask, "Did you teach him to do this?" Tim assures me he did not, that William cannot help being a little boy who gets excited about trucks and guns.
William has turned three this week. He is active and lively, and will have a pirate themed birthday party with two of his cousins and a little girl from school. We will make eye patches and 'lights' and they will go looking for 'buried' treasure, and have a family supper afterwards.
The longer that his mother lives here, the more talking we are able to do. With that talking comes healing, for me, mostly. I've grieved over her for a long time now, and it has been difficult to watch her struggle through the years and not feel as if you have, as a mother, failed her somehow. Of all the things in the world that I could fail at, failing as a mother is the biggest shame of my life. But as we talk, she looks at me quizzically. She doesn't understand my grief. She doesn't think her life is my fault. She points out that I tried to warn her about this, or about that, that I tried to be a good mother, that I did the things that a good mother should do.
The seasons are changing. My little corner of the world begins to thaw. And for the first time, since that girl was 14, something is thawing inside of me too. The dark days grow brighter. A life current begins, once again, to flow inside, warming me.