March is usually a promising month for me. It marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of what I dub “the pollen season” here in Georgia. I’d definitely choose the yellow annoyance over forecasts of ice since the latter means surrounding city shutdowns and emptied store shelves. I am a warm weather fan, which may simply come from my penchant for perpetual chill, and really do not mind the pops of floral colors in the otherwise bland backyard tree nakedness.
I don’t think my expectations of the weather for the month are unrealistic. I don’t mind an eventual temperature increase. I have grown accustomed to our 40-degree mornings and 70-degree afternoons. It means a layer of a light jacket with a long-sleeved top to shield from the day’s cool, that’s all. At this point, the pollen has not yet grown to off-the-chart widespread takeover, so rolling down the windows in the car is a welcomed refresher at the end of a workday. What’s more, I can escort the kiddies outside after school and encourage them to wear themselves down, making bedtime that much easier.
Yes, it’s all idyllic, I know. And so comforting. And not at all what this lingering winter wants for us.
Winter is being a hater.
Maybe I hadn’t taken notice of the kookiness of March weather in past years. Being a new parent has meant detecting all kinds of circumstances that would have failed to bother me some five years ago. But the experts at The Weather Channel has warned against my presumptions of the spring equinox equaling an automatic spring switch. Jon Erdman explained, “By definition, spring is a transition time between the persistent cold of winter and the heat of summer. The sun is increasingly higher in the sky each day, and there’s increasing daylight, allowing the air to warm more efficiently. At the same time, there’s still lingering snowpack and colder air in Canada and parts of the northern and western U.S. in March. Superimposed on this tension between increasing warmth and lingering cold is a still-active March jet stream, often taking large southward plunges over the U.S. When this happens, the potential energy of the temperature contrast gets released in the form of an intensifying low-pressure system that can spawn a snowstorm, severe weather outbreak, rainfall flooding, coastal flooding and high winds.” (Erdman, 2018)
The science is solid. It doesn’t change my rosy view, though.
To put it frankly, the weather this month has encompassed all of the suckier parts about being a parent.
A 75-degree day followed by a day of wintry mix and a high of 37 is like that feeling when the baby screams from her bedroom for the third time overnight because she is awakened from the pain of teething. Snow on top of already double-digit snow inches is quite nearly like a stomach virus that has arrived in the house. It’s like that moment when you hear the toddler retch on himself in the car seat behind you after six hours of driving and he starts to scream and you are miles away from the closest exit coming from out of town. The uncertainty of the weather is walking in on your kid dangling from a bookshelf or catching a quick-moving child scooting to the edge of the bed. It’s like having to comb the hair of a tender-headed child. It’s like when they don’t want to eat anything but potato chips.
Unnerving. Distressing. Maddening, mostly.
And as soon as we adjust, it will get hot.
Wow, that sounds just like parenting, too.
Erdman, Jon. “Here’s Why March Brings the Most Variety of Extreme Weather in the U.S.” The Weather Channel, Mar. 1, 2018, https://weather.com/science/weather-explainers/news/2018-03-01-march-extreme-weather-us-history. Accessed Mar. 25, 2018.