Thursday, April 27, 2006

Windmills and springtime and memories

Every year after winter finally relaxed its icy grip and warmer weather melted the snow and coaxed green out of the earth, my Grandma would buy my sister and I our regular spring goodies. It was any combination of a skipping rope, a windmill, a tub of bubbles, one of those fat little red, white and blue balls, or the larger marbled kicking-sized balls. If she was late, she'd throw in a pail and shovel (in preparation for summers at their cottage).

I think of her often, but especially in the early spring when the racks of springtime toys start popping up at the grocery stores. The big marbled ball I bought last year is still kicking around the backyard. Some years I just can't resist the nostalgia.

This afternoon as I was wandering through the drugstore after picking up my second (yes, that's right I said second) pack of OPKs for this cycle, I stumbled across this year's springtime display in the process of being loaded onto the shelves.

Knowing I was about to drop $51.99 for a second time in a week on sticks I'm going to pee on and throw out, I wasn't particularly looking to buy anything else, but then I saw a display of teeny, tiny windmills.

I loved those things when I was a kid. My Grandma would get us the ones made of that thin, metallic plastic and they'd sparkle like crazy in the sunlight when the wind caught them and sent them whirring in frantic circles. We'd run through the yard holding the end of the sticks high in the air so they'd catch the wind and go faster, faster, faster!

When we got tired, we'd stand and blow on them to get them to dance for us. I can remember my Mom patiently showing me what angle I needed to blow on them to get them to go - and I remember the thrill of hitting it just right and seeing them spin and spin at my urging.

So when I saw the display today it made me think of my Grandma, and then it made me think of Thomas' Grandma - my Mom. I know that she'd be bringing those simple springtime joys to my son if she could, as would I. As we all would if there was just some way...

So I picked out a blue windmill for my boy. I'll take it to his grave the next time I go, and it will give me comfort to know that it will whir and spin and dance for my little one, day in and day out while the warm spring sun shines sweetly on the grass where he lies.

There's so little I can do. I needed the windmill. I really, really needed it.


Margaret said...

I love the idea of the windmill you bought dancing for Thomas.

Could it be that your Grandma is handing you the memory you spoke of as a way of letting you know she's taking care of the spring time ritual with Thomas? Just a thought...

kate said...

What lovely memories of your Grandma!

I am glad that you got a windmill for Thomas. I have to go looking for some for Nicolas -- i bought him some last year but they don't make it through the winter...