Benjamin had his first taste of walking outside. I found a pair of shoes with lots of give for his wobbly gait, so when we went to pick up Colin from the bus, I let him loose on the sidewalk. He thought he'd died and gone to heaven. So when I tried to bring him inside when we got home, he began to thrash and scream and then cry with this really sad frown that melts your heart. Well, the boys weren't complaining about food yet, and if I wasn't inside they couldn't ask me to put a movie on (bonus!) so I transplanted Benjamin and I into the backyard. Caleb followed in seconds, and it was only a couple of minutes before Colin appeared also.
The snow has nearly all melted, so I spent the first half hour doing a spring backyard cleanup - which wouldn't have been so bad if I had done a fall backyard cleanup, as I always intend to do, but never get to it before the first snowfall (that never melts until spring!) I spent the last 45 minutes running around after Benjamin, hoisting him back up to his feet as he ran over the uneven grass. Colin came up with a live-action video game that Caleb played also. As far as I could tell, the grass was lava, and they had to complete an entire circle of our fair-sized backyard without touching any grass. They hopped from piles of leaves to bare dirt to various large toys to the swing set and fort. Each circle was a level, and the goal was to reach level 10. Each level grew progressively harder, with Colin outlining exactly where the path was, and what types of jumps and leaps were required and how many steps were allowed. His mind works so quickly and intricately, and he always manages to keep the game and rules straight and sensible.
So I have officially opened the backyard for the season. For local friends, feel free to drop in or call and invite yourself and your kids over for a play date any morning! If it's muddy, bring extra clothes, because kids love the mud all the more. Once the weather turns a little nicer, we will hopefully be hosting weekly barbecues, as we invite good friends and friends we want to get to know better over to lounge in the backyard, munch on barbecued food, and enjoy good conversation and plenty of laughs. Oh, I am so excited for spring and summer!