Summer Of Champions

May 28, 2015

summer pep talk

It is almost summer, which means no more winter coats, chapped lips, or swearing under our breath while we scrape the icy windshield and the baby screams in the car seat. No more flu season or rectal temperature thermometer or cabin fever or mismatched mittens no one wants to wear anyway.

We have survived winter. We are Braveheart.

Here’s the thing though, summer in your 30s is not the same as summer in your early twenties when all you needed for a day at the beach was your towel and thigh gap. Now the sun spots have gathered into colonies and have us googling CANCER MOLES in the middle of the night. Now we need sunscreen, a floppy hat, and a beach umbrella. Now we have children.

Have you ever tried putting sunscreen on a toddler? Imagine greasing a back-talking cake pan who has been given the gift of questions while also holding his younger sister, a slippery watermelon with “boundary issues.” Does that sound fun?

I’ve never been great with analogies.

Listen, I love summer as much as the next unoriginal girl who is “always cold.” When I first got AOL Instant Message circa 1998, my screen name was summerdreams19. The perfect internet presence for a 13-year-old girl! I couldn’t wait for summer. Summer was when all the good stuff happened; pool parties, family vacation, finding ticks embedded in your sister’s buttcheek. There is nothing better than waking up to the smell of a summer day. The world is your sweaty oyster. There is nothing you can’t do (even though you do mostly nothing).

Things are different now. Now we have to face grown women wearing rompers and the constant fear of kids and water. I need a pep talk. Someone to say we can do thisWe can slide our pale, jellied bodies into bathing suits and hold our head high. We can pack snacks and water bottles and carry sweaty babies to the park only to turn around because someone has to pee.

We can do months without preschool, weeks without help, long mornings stretched into long afternoons. We can apply sunscreen every dawn and give baths every dusk. We can dodge bee stings, poison ivy, splinters and thorns. We can haul heavy strollers in and out of our trunks 400 times for the sake of “family fun.”

We are strong! We are wise! We know our cousin’s HBO password!

There is so much joy that comes with watching children experience the seasons. Summer is no exception. Hot, salty, and full of magic. I am ready for its hormonal sweat.

We can survive summer. We are Braveheart.


20 thoughts on “Summer Of Champions

  1. Elizabeth

    All of this YES YES YES. It’s so much work to have fun with a couple of small kids. I spent twenty minutes slathering sunscreen on my kids the other day so we could play in the backyard, only to pull them inside ten minutes later when my youngest started “pruning” my finally-flourishing flowers and my older one starting throwing sandbox sand into her eyes and hair. Ugh.

  2. Dara

    Lol yes! I have a love/hate relationship with summer. Love because it’s not negative 20 out; hate because it’s 95 out. I would be a happy woman living in a place where it’s perpetually 70 degrees.

  3. Meg

    I have fully embraced one piece bathing suits. Then, the only jiggle I have to see in my peripheral vision is my upper arms and thighs.
    And my thought on rompers. No. I barely have time to pee, having to basically get naked to pee? nope.

  4. Beth

    Yes yes yes. I just posted two things to my Instagram that would indicate I’m loving summer, but in truth I’m terrified my babies will get stolen at the park or drown in the kiddie pool if I look down to scratch my foot. Also ticks. Why does Lyme disease exist?

    Love frequent posts that tell me someone else’s days might look a lot like mine.

  5. Kate

    SUNSCREEN ON BABIES! yes! so hard. i can’t take it. we are about to take our 7 month old to the shore in a few weeks, we bought one of those turtle tops for the car because SO MUCH STUFF!

  6. WhitMc

    Super appropriate as we are embarking on our first camping trip of the year tomorrow…and I naively picked a campsite ON THE RIVER. To which my husband pointed out that we will be spending the entire time making sure our 2-year old daredevil doesn’t drown herself or get burned by the fire. But I am still beside myself with excitement.

  7. Julie Hood

    this’ll be my last summer before i enter your world–and who knows if i’ll be able to slather myself up with butter and slide into a bathing suit ever again! or if i’ll get more than 4 hours of sleep and remember the sunscreen on the way to the pool! but you made it sound so easy, so i’ll probably be fine ;)

  8. Anne11

    I am dreading summer and no pre school too. Thank heavens for grandparent-sleepovers. And the last time I put sunscreen on my toddler, I covered her ears but forgot her nose…

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