I had to do it. I had to break down in February and buy Teresa a new pair of boots. She had a new pair of snow boots at the beginning of the winter, when the snow first began to fall in December, because her old boots — hand-medowns that she’d worn just a handful of times all of last winter — had gotten too small. Or, according to Teresa, her feet had gotten too big. She is a very literal child. In any case, by this month those boots were also too small. It was becoming an effort to jam her toes in and heels to the bottom, and she wasn’t any too happy about it, with the sloppy weather meaning she had to wear them every day. The problem was, none of the stores we frequent still had children’s snow boots for sale. Our local Target had swimsuits on display, never mind temperatures below zero and snow piling up and taking up ever more of the parking lot. My boot salvation turned out to be a friend who had moved to California and had mentioned something on Facebook about the stores there having winter boots on clearance. Some quick messaging back and forth, and a week later, Teresa was the proud owner of Disney Princess boots, bought on clearance from a Target in the Bay Area. She put them on when they arrived in the mail before dinner and didn’t take them off that day until bedtime, and two weeks later into February, she still has to wear them every day because the weather is still too messy and wet and cold for sneakers. It will be Lent soon; Ash Wednesday is March 5 this year, almost as late as it can possibly be, and there is hope that we will actually have spring weather by Easter, as it falls in late April this year. By then, I hope, we will no longer have need of fleece-lined snow boots and parkas. Rubber rain boots and slickers, I suppose, would be all right. To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven, I suppose. The season of Lent corresponds with the cold, damp late winter and early spring of our temperate zone this year, a time when we know new life is burgeoning under the ground and warmer days are coming, but it just seems so long that we’ve been waiting and so difficult to have the patience to wait longer. But we can’t rush the season any more than we can change the weather. We can’t have Easter without Lent any more than we can have spring without winter. But please, retailers of the world, can’t we have winter boots until the snow melts?