Yesterday the Dreamboat and Grampa A went onto the lake to haul away the ice huts for one more year. It is the end of ice fishing season, it seems, and I am feeling rather wistful. Along with the happy memories of the time our family spent out on the ice this year, is the usual regret that we didn’t get out more often. But more than that is a small degree of sadness at the time slipping by so quickly.
It’s not that winter is over (it’s likely that there will be some snow lurking in the shadows through to the end of May). It’s the series of warmer days that jump up from out of no where reminding me that the seasons are fleeting. With the arrival of the usual odd bursts of plus 10 weather, comes the end of Little Man’s eleventh month. Which means that very soon this little tornado of laughter, frustration and endless pooping, will be a year old.
How is that possible and who is this boy? When did my little pinto bean become a bonafide lima? Although it feels like Little Man just arrived yesterday, today he is waddling his way towards his first birthday. He is no longer the little blob that I frantically tried to soothe as I second, third and fourth-guessed just what it was that he needed every moment of the day. In no time flat he has grown into this rather independent person, figuring out how to walk, climb, babble and play.
It is interesting just how different each stage of his first year has been. As if Little Man has mirrored the changing of the seasons, just when I thought that I knew what I was doing, he would start a whole new set of behaviours and signals. While this has often been frustrating, what excites me about these changes is that with every passing day he is more and more aware of the world around him.
His first spring, he was still a newborn. When we took him for walks outside, he generally did little more than sleep. Now that he is older, he notices everything. It took him a while to enjoy his first trip out on the ice, because he was packed into a ridiculously bulky snowsuit that allowed him very little room to maneuver. But once Grampa A started pulling him around the ice huts in his sled he responded with delighted kicks of his feet. After that he had a million new experiences. From playing in the snow to seeing the frozen fish that Grampa A caught. How incredible it must be to learn something new each day.
So while I am definitely sad that the ice huts have been put away, I am also excited about all of the other new things the Dreamboat and I can show Little Man in the seasons to come. With spring there will be puddles and rain. With summer he will experience wet sand and freshly cut grass. By fall he will notice falling leaves and strong winds. And next winter, when the ice hut returns, he will find fishing lines and maybe even the taste of freshly cooked fish.