They (whoever they are) say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. And weather-wise, the first half of that statement has certainly proved true in New England this year. A week ago, we ushered in the new month with a stormy snow day that left at least eight inches in its wake. Yet by Friday, the weather had warmed enough to allow me to take a walk with the boys around muddy puddles. This weekend seemed to be spring as the temperatures moved into the 50's; we dared to venture out without our winter coats, and even caught a brief glimpse of the pine needles and leafy brush that constitute our yard. Since we moved in at the end of December, the outdoor mess has been mostly covered under a clean white blanket of snow, and I had little knowledge of what lay beneath it.
And for now, covered it will remain. Today I woke up to find wet snow clinging to the tree branches, and it has been falling all day. Any other day, I probably would have enjoyed the picturesque scene. However, Monday is errands day, and a tired, pregnant woman with two small boys in tow, driving a borrowed minivan that just barely starts, and attempting to grocery shop in thickly falling snow, is hardly a beautiful thing. We survived the excursion, and I thanked God for bringing us all, along with our groceries and library books, home safely.
Perhaps inspired by March's tagline, I chose Lions as our topic of study this month. I reserved just about every lion book available at the local libraries, and now our book basket is filled with tales of tails just waiting to be read. (I'll report back later if we find any good ones!) As you might have guessed, our Bible story of focus is Daniel in the Lion's Den. And as it turned out, Donny and Hayden actually heard the same story during the class I brought them to last week while I attended a Bible study for moms. They even came home with a picture of a lion's face glued on a paper plate and waiting to be decorated. Since I had been researching lion crafts just a few days before, I was thrilled that they brought one home, already started!
In addition to books, Bible studies, and DVDs (I borrowed the Veggie Tales that includes a produce production of Daniel in the Lion's Den as well as a Discovery channel special called Into the Lion's Den), what will we do for our lion unit? We can pretend to go lion hunting, or to be a lion stalking its prey. We can act out the story of Daniel or The Lion and the Mouse. We can paint those paper plates or glue yarn around the edges to make lion's face, or cut holes in the eyes to turn them into masks. We can find Africa on a map and identify the places where lions live. We can practice writing "LION" and pronouncing the "L" sound (a challenge for both of my boys). We can talk about courage and trusting God when we are afraid.
Whether the weather brings snow or sunshine, we can do all these things if I can just get over my laziness, and my tendency to "get something done" rather than put chores aside long enough to engage in a learning activity. Some say that lions are lazy, but we certainly do not need to practice that trait. Besides, lions are also known for being bold and brave. Brave enough to venture out in the snow for bread and books? Maybe. Bold enough to wrestle bundled-up children into carseats, lift them into a shopping cart (after searching to find the only one that isn't wet), deny them lollipops and plastic produce bags and other impulse items at their eye level, and pile a week's worth of reasonably nutritious, budget-friendly food around their wiggly bodies? I doubt any lion would attempt it.
Quite frankly, I am ready for spring. I am ready to be done with puffy coats and wooly mittens (which they wear for a maximum of three minutes) and the general discomfort of being painfully cold every time I step out the door. When March finally does go out like a lamb, I think I will breathe a sigh of relief. And maybe by then, my little lambs will have learned a few things about lions. If not, then tasting snowflakes, singing made-up Daniel songs in the van with the broken CD player, and engaging in the bold sport of grocery shopping will have to be learning enough.
...The righteous are as bold as a lion. - Proverbs 28:1b