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It was a long, cold winter. We have been teased with glimpses of spring and even a couple summer like days of sunshine, blue skies, and a warm breeze. Last Saturday provided us one of those days. It was just beautiful, so we made our way outside as soon as we could.
We worked in the yard all morning: raking old leaves, picking up sticks, trimming plants, and mulching. Lots of mulching. The yard looks fresh and new and ready to grow!
The girls eyed the sandbox all morning. "When can we open up the sandbox?" was the question of the day, repeated over and over, hoping that the answer would be "Right now."
"After lunch. Then you will have the whole afternoon to play in it." Then I quickly added, " ... as long as the sand is clean and not too wet!" Sometimes there needs to be a disclaimer. I wasn't sure what we may find when we opened the sandbox.
After lunch finally came, and Daddy removed the bricks holding down the double layer of tarp that protected the sandbox all winter long. One layer peeled off. Two layers peeled off. Then finally the sandbox cover was removed to reveal the sandbox just as it was left many months ago.
Full of sand and toys. Toys of all kind: cars, trucks, shovels, buckets, sand castle molds, and bridges. And the building and making began. And the sharing and imaginations ran wild.
For over four hours -- with maybe one bathroom break -- the girls played endlessly in their sandbox. They built roads and mountains and lined up all the cars and trucks. They built castles and houses and pretended to live in another world. I had just as much fun listening in on their sandbox conversations and watching them create all afternoon.
It was dinner time with bath time planned right after. After all the possible warnings that I could give, it was time to end the sandbox fun.
"OK, girls. Time for dinner. We need to come inside and wash our hands," I called to them wondering how many times I would need to make this request.
"OK, Mommy. But, can we come back out to play in the sandbox after dinner?" M. asked ever-so-sweetly with a little cock of her head.
I smiled and thought: Who would have known the day the sandbox opened up for the season was so magical?