Spring – the flowers, the rain, the transitions

May 11, 2017 |  Category:   life nyc seasonal

I’ve been really enjoying this spring season after what felt like a winter spent in hibernation. It’s just way too easy when you’re working from home to fall into the trap of never leaving your house. The number of consecutive days I’ve spent doing that is just way too embarrassing a number to admit to anyone, let alone myself, but making an effort to get out of the apartment has been well worth it these days when you’re rewarded with all the flowers of spring. For a few weeks, New York City is swathed in fluffs of pink. Then, all the tiny buds on trees begin their life cycle and dot the branches with green haze like a pointillist painting until one day – seemingly overnight – they bloom in full leaves. Suddenly, you remember again how green and lush the summer is.

That’s where we are at this point in time, but it was a rather strange Spring. Magnolias, which typically bloom first, were nowhere to be seen this year. I guess the temperatures in February and March flipped and the colder weather after the mild February froze most of the magnolia buds away. We’re so used to the normally reliable succession of Spring blooms that the appearance of the cherry blossoms before the magnolias (which never really happened) confused the natural order and timing of things. It confused us too.

Now that we’re entering mid-May, the race to the end of the school year has begun. These last 6 weeks are going to fly and be crammed with so many end of school events that every week is going to feel hectic. This year culminates in another graduation for us too. Hard to believe that both girls will be in middle school come September, and high school tours and admissions prep have already started too. Oh, are you wondering what that’s all about? In NYC, the admissions process for high school can rival the admissions process of top competitive colleges. It’s overwhelming and stressful – and this is coming from someone who grew up in this system. I wasn’t really a “tiger mom” when the kids were in elementary school, but the high school admissions process is turning me into one. So life is pretty intense for us and the kids right now, but I hope the summer will provide some sort of reprieve before we enter into middle school transitions for the younger one and the flurry of high school applications for the older one.

This, in turn, has made me think a lot about the future – a future that always seemed distant, but really isn’t so far away…

Spring is also a time when the business reawakens from its March slumber. The return of Smorgasburg the first weekend in April jump starts the season with much needed life. It really is hard to believe that this is our 10th season with the Brooklyn Flea. For those of you who haven’t been here since the beginning of this blog, we started our business at the first ever Brooklyn Flea in April 2008. So a return to the outdoor market is sort of like coming home. The crowds this April have been enormous and these busy market days restore our faith that business is still good. Mother’s Day was also extremely busy this year – so much so that this week felt a little bit like the crazy holiday season. All this to say, things are starting to happen again on the business side of things which is something that we desperately needed to see.

And the other stuff in life? Well, anxiety about the future – both ours and this country – is pretty high, but I’m trying to temper it with positive and calm thoughts (sometimes this works, sometimes not). I still don’t have answers to any of my big burning life questions, but since it feels like the state of normal these days is “uncertain”, I’m just trying to focus on each day. In the meantime, long walks in the neighborhood with friends help, and the beauty of Spring and anticipation of warmer days keep us above water.

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  • Kasia Dietz May 11, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Spring in Paris has been equally capricious. As for the political state of affairs… All we can do is try to stay positive. Hoping the sun will stick around for us both!

    • Jenna May 11, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      That’s right, Kasia, for our sanity! Hoping you have some sunny days in Paris. Either way, I’m sure the city is stunning as usual! xx

  • Jen May 11, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Gorgeous flowers. I have a question about the high school application process. So you (anyone) can easily go to your local/assigned HS, but if you go out of district and still within the public school system, you have to apply?

    • Jenna May 11, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Hi Jen. There is no local/ assigned high school. There used to be when I was a kid, but somewhere down the line it all turned into this application process. Middle schools too, actually, though middle schools are by district, so you apply to your district middle school. So there are a few channels for the high school application process – the specialized high schools which have their own testing and audition requirements and then the other schools (those mentioned in that article I linked to) which you rank on your application – most of which have their own assessments and interview process. Catholic high schools are a whole separate system and they have their own testing process. It’s crazy….

  • Jen May 12, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Holy moly- I had no idea there wasn’t even an option of walking down to your local. I thought maybe the local was just a crappy school. I think I get the “let’s move to the suburbs” thing that seems to get mocked. Good luck! Your girls are my girls’ ages 5 years ago