This is difficult to say, but I’m no longer sure that I love you.
We’ve had some amazing times together, I know. And I have always loved your greeny-gold and that feeling of newness you bring with you. But lately things have just been too up and down. The temperature, for one. The older I get, the harder a time I have with so much inconsistency. There’s a lot of unpredictability in my life, and yours is getting a little hard to take. I need some reliability.
This roller-coaster style of yours also encroaches into other areas that are also getting cluttered and tiring in a way they weren’t years ago. There are all the sports that are dependent on the weather such that I plan the entire weekend around them and then, bam, all bets are off and I can no longer do one of the three things I would have wanted to do instead if my son didn’t have to be at Little League and his dad wasn’t playing Ultimate Frisbee.
It’s not even just the weather in the moment, either. It could be the soaking rain from the day before. Don’t try to tell me the past is in the past. Only if it’s artificial turf! (Well, the baseball fields are a little more forgiving than the soccer and Ultimate, but you still never really know just how much one patch of earth can hold.)
Of course one of the things everyone loves about you is the growth you bring. People feed off of you, quite literally. It’s exciting. And delicious! But damn if it isn’t a lot of work. I’m overwhelmed just looking at the garden and the green things that came up practically overnight and wondering where I should focus my energy so I can eat what is good, ditch what is depleting, and ensure I don’t let too much go and then become overrun with more than I can handle. Ain’t that always the case?
Also, you ask a lot. The fundraisers! The field trips! The amount of time I’m spending volunteering in some way or another with my children’s school seems to be outpacing the amount of time I spend with them. Yes, you give, but you take a lot too.
And this may sound harsh, but you really are toxic. I mean all that green pollen dust coating cars and infiltrating noses. And the exhaust from construction vehicles (I know, winter hurt your roads something serious this year. But still.) And lawn sprays. It’s inescapable. My poor kid with his watery and puffy eyes. Poor me up with him half the night trying to help him breathe. Our poor bank account for all the ways we’re trying to keep him well and able to not miss two weeks of recess again. Not that we could actually predict when that might be or when we’ll be in the clear and can actually let him go down to the park or to practice without incident.
The least you could do is send a Save the Date so I’d know when the tree pollens are going to hit and when they’ll be done. Instead, I bite my nails from mid-March to mid-May and hope that with all the remedies and therapies things might be better this year. Sure, you dropped hints with your late snows and such, but it’s impossible to ever really know with you.
I have to admit that we have had some good times. Friday marks 23 years since the dance named after you brought me out in a flowered dress to the quad where my now-husband twirled me around. My son made his debut in early spring nine years ago. In 2004, you invited me back on the running trail after a year of uncertainty. I will always be a sucker for pink blossoms snowing on pavement, the smell of lilacs and the welcome warmth of the first night I don’t have to wear a jacket to the PTA meeting.
But you’re also a time of darker moments, in years recent and not. When you came this time, you did so taking away a friend on your first day back. It may be hard for me to ever think of your arrival without thinking about her light on this earth going out and to not feel the heft of regret for how I could not help her. I know that I should acknowledge how her light yet goes on but still feel unable to believe and unable to appreciate what I have yet in front of me. That doesn’t seem very inspiring.
With your return this year, I lost a friend. Thanks to you, I lose my mooring every year. I feel boxed in by commitments and by threatened sneezes and by the knowledge that everything is coming back to its vitality but maybe, probably, not me.
Despite our lighter, happier days, the low points we’ve had seem to be rising up to the front of my memory. The gold feels tarnished. I’m tired and weary. Your promise just seems empty, leading only to heat and longer days that unfold over and over to show me in new ways how I don’t measure up. It’s not that I am more in love with summer or any other season. I guess it’s that I’m not sure I remember what you taught me about love more than what you taught me about regret.