My head is cloudy with spring, tangled in a thick sneeze-inducing blanket, suspended in mid-season limbo. Hot one day and chilly the next. Pollen, rain, clear, pollen. The last weeks of March and first of April are like children alternately running with abandon and coming in close for a snuggle, not sure if they’re little or big. I love these days; I hate these days. I am impatient for what comes next, when the green-dusted fog clears.
The days will make up their minds soon enough, the weather will sort itself out, and the hatch will burst open. Everything will seem new, will be new, as it was last year and the year before. We’ll mark the new things with new pictures, both of spring and offspring.
I have thought, all these years, that we’ve been raising one another’s children, our collective growth chart a collage of photos and handprints, sidewalk chalk flowers and four-square grids. I’ve thought that because every spring, every Easter since we found each other, every year our children race into the street together, just as they did the year before but new to each year’s new age. Every Easter they race out, and we sip coffee, and we marvel over how damn lucky we are to be doing this together and not alone.
They were three and four and six and ten and college-bound, the lot of them, from one end of the block to the other. Easter kicked off spring then summer, the growing season. Band-aids and Popsicles and forts and lemonade stands and street tennis.
We’ve been raising them together for years now, remarking each spring how big they’ve gotten, how they’re easing into their arms and legs and personalities. We’ve laughed and hugged and cried and researched and shared – our houses, our knowledge, our baking sheets, our love. A one-block co-op, all parenting together, a weird tiny microcosm that our children think of as just normal.
All these years raising children together, but actually raising each another.