Seattle is flirting with spring. One day is lush and sunny, the next scowling and drizzling. Everything is covered with a fine dusty coating of pollen, and the patio is littered with sticky yellow seed pods that cling to the bottoms of toddler-sized shoes and get trampled into the carpet. It feels moistly, thickly alive outside, like the air itself is bursting with unfurling blooms and delicate reaching green tendrils. The branches are trading their fierce skeletal winter bones for whorls of leaves and pink-tipped buds. We spread mulch in our front lawn and the smell is rich and fertile and organic, like the clean bedding of warm-blooded creatures.

It is a lovely transformation, accompanied by a nonstop energetic orchestra of singing birds, but here is the important thing: WE CAN THROW THE LOUD, RAUCOUS-ASS CHILDREN AND THE FARTING, FUR-SHEDDING DOG OUTSIDE NOW.






Glory, glory. Hallelujah.


32 Responses to “Renewal”

  1. Eric's Mommy on April 20th, 2010 1:33 pm

    HAHAHAHA Love it!

    We have the God awful May flies right now. I took Eric outside and we lasted about 10 minutes before we went back in, they are terrible.

  2. samantha jo campen on April 20th, 2010 1:33 pm

    Go Dog go!

  3. warcrygirl on April 20th, 2010 1:37 pm


  4. Stevie on April 20th, 2010 1:38 pm

    “It feels moistly, thickly alive outside” – that is a PERFECT description of what it feels like! I was running along the trail in Woodinville yesterday evening and the smells and sounds were everywhere. I could hear ducks quacking, frogs & crickets chirping and it just smelled so earthy. I love it!

  5. Liz on April 20th, 2010 1:39 pm

    The proper scientific name for all that pollen is “tree bukkake”.

  6. 6512 and growing on April 20th, 2010 1:40 pm

    Just that makes spring the most glorious, hope-filled time.

  7. H on April 20th, 2010 1:42 pm

    I’m impressed that Dog, at her age, can run and/or jump like she is in that picture!


  8. Clueless But Hopeful Mama on April 20th, 2010 1:55 pm

    The dimples on Dylan? RI-freaking-DICULOUS. And when did he become a full fledged BOY?

  9. Christine on April 20th, 2010 2:04 pm

    Normally I would talk about how big and adorable the boys are getting, but I saw Dog. And YAY Dog! Look at her go. :)

  10. HalynB on April 20th, 2010 2:20 pm

    It’s a little chilly and overcast today, but yesterday and Sunday sure were nice! And I love the way the air smells lately…if colors had odors, I would definitely call this one green!
    I don’t know why, but winter really seems never-ending this year-I’ll be glad when we get a week’s worth of nice weather instead of a day or two at a time.
    God, your babies look like full on little boys! So amazing how fast they grow!

  11. Kate on April 20th, 2010 2:52 pm

    Sing it, sistah! And throwing them outdoors = tiring their little asses OUT!

  12. Becky Mochaface on April 20th, 2010 2:59 pm

    I wish my yard looked as thick and lush as yours. Sigh. My skills as a landscaper are sadly lacking.

  13. cindy w on April 20th, 2010 3:33 pm

    That is the best reason for getting a fence around our backyard that I’ve heard. I would love to just toss my kid outside & let her run.

  14. MRW on April 20th, 2010 4:23 pm

    Totally. My 7 year old pitched himself outside Sunday morning around 10:00 and spent the entire day playing with various friends in the neighborhood until I dragged him in around 7:00 (forced lunch down his throat at some point, that was it). He was in kid heaven. Could use more 75 degree days here.

  15. Kami on April 20th, 2010 5:10 pm

    Damn, I love Spring. I wish it would show up in Boston…

  16. Brenna on April 20th, 2010 6:19 pm

    Word to the WORD. (I love pulling those clumps of hair off my dog, it’s just so satisfying.)

  17. Mel on April 20th, 2010 6:30 pm

    I love your descriptions! Paints a beautiful word picture!

  18. Lucy on April 21st, 2010 1:41 am

    Linda, I love the way you write! So poetic and observant, and so modern and honest! Brilliant! It’s lovely to see the boys looking so well and happy too, it must be a relief for you.

  19. penne on April 21st, 2010 4:20 am

    My dad used to tell us “Why doncha go outside and let the stink blow off?” And I always thought it was so mean. Until I had children, and now I GET IT. Happy Spring!

  20. Kristin H on April 21st, 2010 5:31 am

    That picture of Dylan! He looks like an official boy now, rather than a baby.

  21. Garnish on April 21st, 2010 5:31 am

    I second that emotion! Beautifully put. And Penne…loving your dad’s sentiment.

  22. Amanda Blair on April 21st, 2010 10:07 am

    i love the action shots and your description of spring. I felt like I was watching that happen instead of reading it!

  23. Sara on April 21st, 2010 10:48 am

    Here it’s just yellow. Everything that stands still for even a plit second is covered in pollen. I like your Spring much better!

  24. Redbecca on April 21st, 2010 2:44 pm

    Hahahaha! If only I could kick our cats out. Sigh. But they are sheltered indoor creatures who think “outside” is the screened-in porch or an open window.
    We were blessed with a brief flirt with summer a couple of weeks ago here in the DC area and my kiddo already has a freakin FARMERS TAN! In April!

  25. Kym on April 21st, 2010 6:14 pm

    I’m hearing “go speed racer, go” in my head when I see pictures of Dog running :)

  26. willikat on April 21st, 2010 7:59 pm

    Penne, my dad used to say that too!

  27. amber on April 21st, 2010 10:03 pm

    Honestly I’ve never been a fan of dimples but DAMN, Dillon makes them look GOOD. Handsome boys!

  28. amber on April 21st, 2010 10:04 pm

    It suddenly occurs to me that my “damn” all capitalized could seem a wee bit creepy. No creepiness intended!!

  29. victoria on April 22nd, 2010 9:56 am

    Thank you for writing in detail, elsewhere, about managing your time and getting SO MUCH done in one day. First, You’re amazing. Second, I am definitely going to take a harder look at how I spend my time in the car and what I have on my iPod. Third, You really DO have basically zero down time and yet you never report losing your temper with a child or colleague because you’re overtired or panicked.

    Now that you’ve decoded the mystery of how you get so much done in a day, all I can say is, Wow. Even ONE day where almost every minute, from waking to bedtime, was devoted to accomplishing some task, would have me in tears.

  30. Maria on April 23rd, 2010 6:27 pm

    I’m jealous of the state of your grass. Holy shit it’s gorgeous.

    Also jealous that Dylan can figure out the sippy cup collecting dust in my kitchen because NEITHER OF MY CHILDREN COULD FIGURE OUT HOW TO DRINK FROM IT.

  31. Kathy on April 25th, 2010 2:17 am

    Hi, I am new to your site and just wanted to say I enjoy reading. Also…..your pictures are so sharp and clear, it’s like I’m right there. Would you mind sharing what kind of camera you use? And forgive me if you’ve already answered this question, I haven’t read all your archives yet.

  32. Mona on April 25th, 2010 5:11 pm

    I can absolutely relate to the pollen covering everything, including the inside of my lungs. So ready for the pollen to stop, the days to be continuously sunny, and summer to officially start!

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