The category for my son’s show-and-tell presentation for his preschool class this week is “a sign of spring.” Buried under several feet of show and not about to abandon the daily uniform of snowpants, boots, mittens, neck warmer, and hat, I had to chuckle at the assignment. But I know his teacher, like most of us, are ready for those signs of spring, even if we know that we still have a lot of winter yet to endure.
While walking our aging dog on a bike path near the house this morning, I searched the marshy area and trees for signs of spring. Would I find any objects that heralded the shift of the seasons? As the dog sniffed in the snow and I remarked at how much slower his gait is these days, I did note that there are signs of spring showing in the sky. For one, the sun was shining, and our daylight hours have grown in length, which is one of the first signs that I noticed after a long, dark winter. Of course, with the recent daylight savings change, our household is adjusting to the time change as well as any family with young children does. Which means we’re not really doing all that well and we’re tired and cranky. Bedtime is never easy, ever, and it’s made all the more difficult when it’s still daylight and your child has figured out how to open the blinds to prove to you that he doesn’t need to sleep while the sun is still out.
I’m hopeful that the subzero temperatures have past. I was able to forgo many additional layers while walking, but still needed my hat and gloves. Our winter gear won’t be put away anytime soon. With the sunshine and warmer temperatures, the birds were much more vocal than they have been, so I know that the change of the seasons is coming. Perhaps for show and tell we’ll have to take pictures of the sun or record the cheery songs of the birds. At the moment we can’t find a blade of grass or even where the ground begins. Those more tangible signs are a ways off, so, for now, I take comfort in the smaller hints of the coming spring like daylight and birdsong.
Or, perhaps, another object he could present is the calendar that states “spring break” is coming right up. That is one indisputable sign that parents, teachers, and children alike all eagerly look forward to, even if it means we’re home in Montana, still in our snowpants, still shoveling snow.
Maggie Doherty is the owner of Kalispell Brewing Company on Main Street.