I join the throngs of other people who scoff at the notion that a groundhog – a giant rodent – determines whether we are having an early spring or if there is 6 more weeks of winter.
Sure, groundhog day is fun for the kids – most kids, any way – mine just wondered how seeing a shadow influenced global weather patterns, but I don’t waste time explaining that to the kids – they’re old enough now, they tell me the truth about Groundhog Day.
Apparently, according to my eldest, farmers used the Groundhog to determine if there was going to be an early spring because the Groundhog likes to get a jump on the mating season, so they would cease hibernating and come out of their holes to find a mate so that when it starts to get warm, the babies will survive.
“Nothing to do with shadows, Dad. Groundhog day is about sex!”
Well, at least that makes more sense that the shadow thing.
But, being The Urban Daddy, I have to remind my children that the real telltale sign of spring is Spring Training for baseball, which is set to begin on February 21st this year when the first games are played.
“Yes, we know, Dad. You tell us every year. We hate baseball. The games are long and boring, the stadiums are empty, the players make too much money and half the league cheats.”
Nonetheless, while Groundhog day might come and go, and the fate of the seasons hinges on whether that silly groundhog sees it’s shadow or doesn’t see it’s shadow, the buzz of baseball is the true sign that the seasons are changing.