First Day of Spring

By fallspark, April 18th, 2011 | No Comments »

The weather yesterday started out cold, with a constant clammy mist. But in the afternoon, a sudden warm front turned the day into what felt like the humid heat of the tropics—to NW Iowans, anyway, who are the recent survivors of five months of a blistering cold winter. The gray, flat clouds of the morning transformed into bulging thunderheads that sat in the west, their underbellies dark and their edges rimmed with gold from the sinking sun. Lightning flickered impishly through the clouds’ dark folds, and the accompanying thunder crackled affectionately.

On lawns and in trees all throughout town, male robins strutted magnificently, and the females coyly flicked their tails at them and darted away. Daffodils’ yellow heads unfolded, and the rhubarb in my garden unfurled its first crinkly red leaves. Everywhere, buds were bursting on trees. Kids were peddling their bikes madly down sidewalks, teenagers were playing basketball in the park, and lovers were strolling hand in hand.

The first true day (or, in this case, evening) of spring.

Josh and I also succumbed to the evenings’ charms. Being the parents two very young, very lively children, our definition of romance has devolved dramatically from our pre-parenthood days. Now, having a half-hour to ourselves after the kids are in bed and before we fall over from exhaustion is often as romantic as it gets. As we were getting the kids ready for bed, I said to Josh, “Wouldn’t it be nice to sit in our backyard after the kids are asleep and watch the coming storm?” Josh agreed.

We quickly tucked the little ruffians into bed and made our escape to the back patio, which was completely dark. We brought out chairs, Oreo cookies, and mugs of milk. Josh took his guitar, too. So there we sat, me munching Oreos, Josh strumming his guitar, and both of us enjoying the flickering lightning and warm, humid breeze wafting past us.

BUT.

Just as Josh was strumming the last cords of his song, a bright light burst from the kitchen window which was just behind our heads. I turned and looked into the window, and there was the scowling face of our little boy, staring at us ominously. “I want a cookie,” he said, through the window.

I got up from my chair, walked into the house, and commanded that he get back in bed. I tucked him in and came back inside.

The lightning was still dancing in the sky; the thunder was still mumbling. Josh stood up as I approached, and we melted into each others’ arms. Just then, our neighbor turned her backyard light on, walked outside to check on her flowers, and went back inside, leaving the very bright light on. We sat back down in our chairs. We talked for awhile about our dreams for the future, etc. Then—you guessed it—the kitchen light behind our heads burst on again, and again, the little face of a now-angry boy appeared. “I – WANT – A – COOKIE.”

The End.

By Sharla Kattenberg (Hull, Iowa)

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