I know it's two days after the official Groundhog Day, but my seven-year-old son is still distraught over what poor Phil, the celebrity groundhog, has to go through.
"Mama," he said. "They're torturing him! He supposed to be hibernating. Why can't they just leave him alone?"
"Yeah, I know," I said. "It's just one of those silly traditional things that happens year after year. I don't know why they do it. They just do."
"Well, it's terrible. And whether he sees his shadow or not, doesn't matter. It doesn't affect the weather."
I nodded. It seems I have an astute kid.
He continued. "And then they put him in a plastic container so everyone can look at him."
"What?" I had never heard of that, but then I really don't follow the whole hoopla surrounding the groundhog. "Well, that's not very nice."
"They should just go back to Candlemas."
I looked at him quizzically. "What's Candlemas?"
"It's when people lit candles in late winter to make spring come sooner."
"Did it work?" I asked.
"No." Then he got quiet. "Or maybe we should just do nothing and let spring come whenever it comes."
"I'm all for that one," I said.
I'm sure groundhogs everywhere would agree.