What do you do in the shortest month?
When I was young, February simultaneously thrilled and depressed me. (Yes, I was clearly a strange child.) See, it was the only month with fewer than 30 days, so there wasn't as much time to get things done in February as there was in the other eleven months. That was disturbing if I had a deadline -- a paper due, a room to clean, something like that. But it was exciting, too, because I knew that February would soon be over and then came March, which was almost spring! So I could legitimately start looking forward to warmer weather. (Living in upstate New York, I was half-frozen all winter; the thought of thawing out was very appealing!)
My poor mother, though -- I would pester her beginning in early February, wanting her to make sure that everything was ready for spring. I needed to know that we'd have plenty of outside toys, that I still had a swimsuit, that any pants I'd worn the knees through on would work for cutoffs. (Cutoff shorts were one clothing item I could make all by myself, especially since I didn't care if the cuts were a bit more crooked than was necessarily desirable.) My mother would indulgently get out spring and summer things and involve me in the preparations. We would make over old clothes, turn some of her worn-out items into things for me and my siblings, and generally make at least one new item for every family member too. As a girly-girl, I loved twirly skirts and all things ruffled -- but then would generally tear everything nice when I insisted on wearing it while riding bikes or climbing trees! My brother loved anything with pockets -- he would have adored the Woodland Shirt and Pocket Pants, while my baby sister wore as little as possible. Things like the One-Piece Sundress were perfect for her. My mom and dad didn't care as much about the styles they wore as they did about the fabrics they were made from; my mom loved bright colors and patterns, while my dad preferred more durable choices.
Looking back, I realize now that the Februrary Flurry was probably more a way to keep busy through the winter doldrums than anything else, but every year I was thrilled nonetheless. It's a tradition I try to maintain with my kids, too -- helping them be involved in caring for and creating our clothes and our house, and anticipating summer even in the depths of winter.
How do you spend February?