Hope Springs Eternal

This afternoon found the boys and me coming in our front gate after school at the same time as the 6-year old who lives up on the third floor – a boy who Baxter’s really been missing this winter. They love to wrestle each other to the ground and play wild games of tag in the front yard.

It was around 50 degrees for the first time in months. As we got a rousing game of tag going (in which I, playing tag in my clogs, had to establish the new rule: “The next one of you who spanks me is automatically IT”), more and more neighbors appeared. In short order, all five kids in our building were out front, and a great neighbor from down the block walked by and came in with her 2-year old and a new baby I hadn’t yet laid eyes on. (Because, you know, he was born in the winter, and here in Chicago neighbors go into serious hibernation in the winter, especially with a newborn. I do believe if I’d had one of my children in the middle of a Chicago winter I’d have totally lost it.)

It was a grand way to pass the time, reminiscent of long, sunny spring, summer and fall afternoons spent out there last year. Matt, who was working from home and heard the cacophony, paused to take this photo through the window. It’s all of the moms hanging out on the front steps. That’s me in the black sweater, warm enough to set aside my winter coat, with one of the neighbor kids lounging on my lap. The kids were all around us, poking at each other with sticks, attempting to dig up the lawn, throwing a Nerf football through the gate repeatedly (that was one of mine, of course), wrestling, playing tag, and relaxing with the adults.

I know we’ll see more snow – probably later this week – but now I am sure of it: spring is coming!


10 responses to “Hope Springs Eternal

  1. Life As I Know It

    It’s starting to get “warm” here too. Up to 40 degrees today, which felt downright balmy!

    Can’t wait for spring.

  2. kristenspina

    Lucky you! Sounds like a lovely afternoon. (Is that a cashmere sweater you are wearing?)

  3. Why, yes, Kristen, in fact it is! Someone very wise once told me that cashmere will adjust to your body temperature!

  4. Jordan, this is beautiful. Long gone is the time when everyone knew their neighbors and would gather like this. I long to live in a community like yours. I look forward to living vicariously through more stories like this one.

  5. Niksmom, I know how rare this is and I very much appreciate it. It’s one of the best parts of Chicago for us – I am amazed by how many neighborhoods have this going on – there are still kids running up and down sidewalks and across each other’s lawns here.

  6. Please don’t use the /sn/ word – it gives me hives. Yes, it was a wonderful feeling to get outside, watch the kids ride their bikes and talk to neighbors. We know how to savor a nice day here in the midwest – that’s fo’ sure!

  7. sorry – those 2 repeat comments are from me, not Kaveh!

  8. So lovely, wasn’t it?? We tried to go biking in the park, but our fun was interupted when I warned the boys NOT to go into the mire that is the baseball diamond, and they promptly went into the mire that is the baseball diamond. And got stuck. And cold. And I had to wade in there in my bare feet to rescue them! But it WAS a beautiful night before that. 🙂

  9. Emily, as some know me

    Ahem. We’re going to have our second 90-degree day of the “winter” later this week. I hate Texas weather, and I miss the weather in SF. It is incredibly seasonally disorienting to have a 90-degree day in February.

    That said, what I *don’t* miss about SF is what we do have here: our families close by and an entire neighborhood packed with kids who go to school with our kids, who participate in the same activities, who come over to play all the time, whose parents we know or are getting to know. My boys can walk out the door, go next door, and have a playmate in less than a minute, scrambling all over our combined total of an acre-plus, all overlooking a greenbelt from our front yard. Yes, this is GOOD for our kids, even if Mommy can’t stand the weather. Halloween around here was like that Halloween scene from ET…just crawling with neighborhood families, and we all knew each other. That was pretty cool.

    Tag, in clogs? You so crazazay.

  10. Christopher Tassava

    Leaving aside my attitude toward winter, I really like the springtime end-of-hibernation routines. The girls and I went for a long walk this afternoon, and it was lovely to see so many kids outside (this being Minnesota, they were all in short sleeves), playing, shrieking, splashing, running.

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