There's nothing like beautiful weather and the chance to get outside to fix all the frustration of winter. Of course, a week-long vacation over spring break doesn't hurt either.
It's amazing how much better spending the day with kids is when you're in a good mood. I'm being nice to them, they're being nice to each other, I'm thinking wow, where did these angel children come from? They can't be the same ones I had all winter.
I kid. Of course they're my kiddos, but it's just a lesson I have to learn over and over. Even when you're tired, crabby, and cooped up, all it takes is a little bit of being nice to turn a bad day around.
My mentor Pam was working with me for a couple of days and watching her is a great reminder of this too. Just a little bit of intervention leads to such amazing results. She doesn't let anybody get away with anything. She addresses every issue clearly, up front, calmly, in a way that the kids respect. Everyone feels calm and safe because she is unquestionably in charge.
It's truly amazing to watch. So I try to imitate her manner, and sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don't. But the last week has still been delightful. I thought it would be harder to come home from our incredibly awesome family vacation and get back to my grueling job.
Instead I've just been feeling grateful. The kids have had nothing but love for me. And I love being in my messy, dinged-up house that's not where we would've liked it to be thirteen years ago, but then neither of us are either. With my neighbors who I love and can rely on any time I need help. Walking around town bumping into people I know everywhere and getting happy smiling greetings. It feels good, being in this place where I think I belong. I know this is not my normal cynicism but there's just nothing like it. Spring.