Winter seemed exceptionally long and especially gray this year. Weather forecasters would probably prove me wrong with their stats and charts, but even my usual upbeat optimism was a little harder to maintain.
All that is behind us - for now.
With the return of the robins and the sunshine, I feel my spirits lifting and energy returning. As I do every year, I have created a to-do list for spring. It has the usual small home repairs and the generic "get outside more with the kids."
New this year is a desire to grow things. Last summer, my daughter Arlee was assigned to grow a cabbage for a state scholarship competition. Faced with rabbit overpopulation in our neighborhood, she grew it instead in a container on the porch, and she and I babied that cabbage. We learned a lot about cabbage over the summer and thrilled at its progress.
It reminded me a bit of my childhood. My parents always planted a huge garden, and I remember how much I loved sneaking into the garden to steal cucumbers, green beans and peas and eating them right off the vine. I hate that I've never taken the time to share that experience with my kids.
That changes this spring. I think we'll start off our new gardening effort with lettuce, cucumbers and green peppers. I'm lucky we have a story in this month's issue by Monica Kass Rogers that simplifies the process of growing green. You'll also find great ideas from parents just like you who have found creative ways to connect their kids with nature.
Some of the ideas just might inspire a few changes in your home, too.
Tamara is the editor of Chicago Parent and mom of three.
See more of Tamara's stories here.