I usually despise Summer. Well, not particularly Summer, but more specifically the never-ending heat. Anything above 85 and I am usually not a happy camper. This dates way back to when I was in grade school. In the third grade, we moved to this ungodly hot town, Laughlin Nevada. I don’t remember the town very well and I don’t have anything against it persay. But the heat? It was horrendous. My parents were literally able to fry an egg on the sidewalk. We had to put a cooler in our car for trips to the grocery store, just so the frozen food wouldn’t dethaw by the time we got home. It would be so hot that I would get little beads of sweat and my upper lip would turn white. That’s all I remember. So needless to say, me and heat don’t see eye to eye. And because of that, summer was my least favorite season.
Until this summer. This summer I have cherished the days soaring into the nineties. I have loved having not a cloud in the sky so the heat bakes everything. And the reason for that is my boys. Watching little kids play in a kiddie pool and discover how fun water really is for the first time has been so fun. Watching my oldest corner his little brother against the fence while he sprays him with a hose is so cruel, yet so wonderful that he learned to do it all on his own. I loved every time a swim diaper was put on. I loved a kiddie pool getting filled up every day. I loved sun tan lotion being drenched on the boys every day. I loved little boys getting adorable little versions of ‘farmers tans’ every day. This is the first summer since I was seven that I’ve enjoyed the heat.
And I’m sure someone is asking why I would pick such a mundane age of seven to start hating summers. But I remember the summer before my eighth birthday and why that summer turned me against the heat. That summer I spent every single day in our pool at our apartment building. I was quite the daredevil and a fish to water, as most girls that age. I could open my eyes under water, do flips into the pool, dive down to the bottom of the deep end, all the normal things. And one day, which I remember over nineteen years later, I was trying my hand at running and jumping, then doing a somersault into the pool. Which I had to practice because I had, and still have I might add, a zero amount of coordination. But that is a topic in and of itself! So I was running and doing my somersaults, going farther and farther each time. It wouldn’t be that unusual of a day but the problem lay in the fact that I was closing my eyes just before the pool and relying on my judge of distance for when to jump into the pool. So on one of my brave attempts, I miscalculated the distance and did my somersault on the concrete, falling into the pool blacked out. Thankfully I didn’t hit my head hard or anything dramatic or after-school-special level. I just scared myself enough that that would be the last summer I would spend all day in the heat.
But now I have a new reason to love summer and I hope that as my boys get older, they will love the water like I did. I hope that spending our days outside in the wonderful heat will reignite my love for lazy summer days and warm lovely pools. I will dream of that as leaves slowly begin to show signs of their impending hibernation. When our family is no longer able to take strolls every evening, I will daydream about them. And when the snow is heavy, and everything is barren, I will count down the days for blistering heat and cloudless skies.