Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Fever

Spring has arrived with a bang in New York. Overnight the temperatures soared to 85 degrees, the trees showed-off their short lived and fragile blossoms, waxing appointments became harder to get than a one to one with Obama as the hemlines went up and everybody threw themselves outside, filling up every bit of green space available. It was thrilling to spend my days wondering around the Village, Soho and TriBeCa taking photos for a travel blog I am writing. It was heavenly to spend some time with a friend, drinking coffee and eating pancakes at a shaded sidewalk table. Yet again, I felt the city filling up my happiness cup and it was running over.

I noticed other things were running through my veins. As I wondered the streets, stopped in cafes and hung out in parks taking my pictures, I was enviously watching the dozens of new Mum's out with their newborns in the sunshine. My mind wandered to my own family and I began to wonder if there was room for one more. But wooooahh there, a big dose of 'new baby' may cure my broody spring fever but it is not the right medicine for any of us. Deep breath. It is just the new beginnings and freshness of spring that is kicking in those hormones. So, how about a little dose of 'puppy' to fill the gap. Great idea, but our landlord would have us out the door before the start of summer. Maybe next year. Then, maybe I need to nest? You know, decorate, spring clean, buy furniture. Just like a mama bird who turns her attention to her nest in spring, I could work the hormones out with a tin of 'Minty Magnolia'. No, not the right prescription, the time to do that is when we actually own the nest.

All this spring fever was beginning to rub off on the rest of my brood. After school the kids bolted out of the door of school, excited about an afternoon in the sun. Instinctively they will remember days after school in the UK, where they felt the sun on their skin, ran in the garden and had tea on a rug under a tree. The problem is the new nest we have built does not have a garden. So, off we headed to the local park. I had been there earlier in the day and it was a beautiful oasis in the middle of all the chaos. However, the bell had rung and school was out! As we waded through the gate, waist high in New York's youngest, the calm oasis was left behind for a full on, brain jangling, pit of mania. My two headed with determination to the climbing frame, trying their best to find their own bit of space and fun. After ten minutes or so, my son checked in with me and asked if it was OK if he went over to the corner of the park, where behind some foliage there was a few square inches of space. He just needed somewhere that was his. After a busy, stimulating day of school what they both need is their own garden where they can carve out their thoughts and favourite games. I recognise that, but we can't provide it.

Still, this isn't an incurable disease. Maybe the medicine that we used to use is no longer available but there are always alternatives. Luckily, Daddy came to the rescue. He is going to take my son to play golf on Sunday, where for five hours he will be able to find his feeling of freedom on the fairway. For my daughter and I, a visit to the cool, light walls of the Museum of Modern Art will restore our equilibrium. As we soak in Monet's Water Lilies and play in the Shape Lab on a quiet Sunday morning, our nest will be waiting for us to return, relaxed. All in all, it will be just what the doctor ordered.

yours, fighting the fever

Torie B

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