This means that I have two choices on birthdays: give them something that they want now, and hope that the rest of the year looks after itself, or give them something that they can't use now, but that will be awesome in the summer.
This year, as has been my habit, I chose the summer.
Last year, they got bicycle sorts of things. This year, I went for another outdoor activity that I adored as a child: soccer. They each got a ball (size 2 for Ellie; size 3 for Margaret) and a pop-up goal. It folds down into a nice, compact carrying case (this will be important later in this post; it's like the suspenders, Best Beloved. See you don't forget it). Ellie seemed interested in her ball. And when I say interested, I mean that she loved it deeply and insisted on taking it to bed with her that night.
When we got ready to go, Ellie insisted on carrying the goal (see? That's why you weren't to forget it) and she looked a little silly. Ready to go play soccer, but silly.
Since the birthday, I'm pretty sure that they have asked me every day if they could possibly go and play in the yard with their soccer balls, and although I would have loved it, there has pretty much been snow on the ground and bitter cold.
But today, the high temp is supposed to be 67.
Which is insane.
But the point is, although the ground may be soupy in the extreme, it will be warm, and there will be soccer. This is exciting. For them to, but certainly for me.