Once we had kids, though, summers in Florida were somewhat like torture. All things in good time, I know, and Florida has the benefit of having extremely mild winters and I live for the days between November and April. They are mostly pure bliss, whereas I know the rest of the country is bunkering up for the umpteenth snow storm (been there, done that -- did I mention I grew up in Minnesota? I get it, and I survived, and I thought no different of myself until I started living down here).
Why were summers in FL torture? When your friends anywhere north of the Florida-Georgia line (with windows down and cruisin', no doubt) think of summer they think of being outside all day, running through the sprinklers, playing in the kiddie pool, running inside for Kool-Aid and then running back outside to play some more. That is just not quite as...easy here. It's hot. It's HUMID. And it might be raining. And I don't have a backyard pool (which is totally okay). So instead we try to find fun "indoor" activities that don't involve 17 episodes of Angelina Ballerina on repeat. I, again, try to find the fun in running errands to the dry cleaners or Target (ooh, I wonder what's marked down on clearance this time...will it be burt's bees chapstick or 77 packages of applesauce?! Excitement pours out of my skin like delicate ladylike perspiration). It's a season, and this too passes.
Summers back then were for shopping, learning electric guitar, extra trips to the library for impending early childhood literacy, and staying cool at the splash pad at Busch Gardens at all costs. (Photos courtesy of summer 2011).
|pool, jump, repeat|
Thirdly, thanks to Stroller Strides, we have now found a little community within our community of mamas & friends who have access to our very wonderful neighborhood pool & splash pad, so we have pool parties like once a week. Guests can come too, and we often invite non-residents, even though they have to pay a tiny fee to get in with us. (We're talking like $5.)
And since my kids are more comfortable in the pool, not to the point where I'm not keeping an eye on them, but to the point that I can actually look at another person in the eye besides my own child, these outings to the pool are actually fun instead of stress-inducing! It's taken 5 summers to get to this point but sometimes you have to know where you've been to fully appreciate where you are!
So I am going to enjoy my summer to the fullest and oh, wait, mail's here, hold on a second...
Give me a few more weeks of my freedom. Sure, go on, do what you need to do to "survive as a business," and send thousands of moms into a frenzy that their child will not have the perfect monogrammed backpack this year, but please, please, let me have my July. IT'S JULY. Summer officially started 'bout 2 weeks ago. You can call me August 1. I won't answer. So you can leave a message with full details about what I need to buy, and then I will. Probably from Target. Which I hear has already proclaimed their back-to-school madness as well. Angry tears. Minneapolis, you're getting a call from me. Regardless. I will enjoy my family and this time, in the words of Olaf, in SUMMERRRRRRRR!!!!!
|I'll be a happy [mom] in SUMMERRRRRR!!|
photo credit: http://bit.ly/1oC1NqV
PS: You know I love Lands' End. I practically grew up in about half their catalogue. I'm surprised my mom isn't somehow on the board of directors. She might be indirectly responsible for their success. So this playful tongue-in-cheek diatribe really hopefully doesn't come as a slight to them, because I heart what they do, just...not yet. Said in love lest some Lands' End social media person thinks I'm trying to take them down, because, I'm not.
PPS: Now go on and enjoy your summer like you should!!