Spring in the Northwest is something special. The brilliant colors from blooms and blossoms are everywhere and everything else is lush and green. When the sun comes out for more than a few days in a row and the temperatures start to get into the 60s, you just can’t help but hope with all of your heart that it’s here to stay, that we won’t return to 50 degrees and raining again before summer arrives.
As a parent, I’ve noticed that I’ve become much more aware of the power of hope than I was before I had children. Now, hope seems central to my life: hope for my children, who they will become and my role in this. Hope for my husband and myself that we will do right by our children, right by ourselves and right by our relationship. Hope that I’ll continue to connect with other parents, learn from them and share what I’ve learned. Hope that I’ll continue to enjoy this journey I am on as much as I am enjoying it now.
And while all of this hoping keeps me optimistic about the future, I have to remind myself that many things are out of my control. I can’t control everything that happens to my children 24 hours a day—they go to school and daycare, and I work so it isn’t possible to be with them every minute. But I can control whose care I put them in when I can’t be there. Similarly I can’t control who my children will become as adults but I can teach, guide, protect, support and encourage them while they are under my husband’s and my care. I can’t control other people’s actions (as much as I wish I could sometimes), I can only control my own. And I certainly can’t control the weather, despite how much I want it to be warm and sunny.
Almost every year my hopes are dashed as soon as I convince myself that this spring might be different—full of sun and warm temperatures. Inevitably the sun goes back behind the clouds, the rain begins and the weather cools. I know that despite my hopes, the reality is that spring in the Northwest is a mixture of all these things: sun, overcast skies, rain and weather that is cooler than I’d like, but also beautiful flowers and blooming trees. And even if the change isn’t permanent—the joy that I experience when the tulips, daffodils, and trees start to blossom is worth it. It gives me hope. So even though I know this spring will probably be like the rest, I’m reminded I ultimately don’t have control and need to just enjoy it. Much like being a parent, plenty of things are outside of my control but that doesn’t stop me from hoping for the best and enjoying the journey along the way.