Door jams are creaking and swelling. Baseboards are popping. Our house is literally moaning and buckling under the heat of the past week, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we are too! San Diego doesn’t usually get much humidity or summer to complain about, so when it does come we curse the electrical company for encouraging reduce-use days when all we want is every fan on full blast and we cross-reference the skies for eschatological signs of armageddon – or at least a raincloud for relief.
While my children are usually sticky just from managing the mere act of being kids, their skin has reached a new level of clammy. Hair and sweat matted around ears, foreheads, and necks. Underwear only is the outfit of choice in the house these days. Should anyone dare touch another human being, an effort-filled and audible peeling must occur to detach.
Basically we’re a hot mess. Crank up the heat. Crank up the whiny-toned requests and complaints. Crank up the lightning flash time it takes to turn a fun activity into one ending in tears, anger, hurt feelings, or any combination thereof!
As a result we’ve been finding ourselves loitering in the card aisle at Target to soak in just a few more minutes of a/c and finding excuses to whip around drive-thru’s for waters with extra ice.
This awesome aquarium store near us boasts a small koi pond in front and rows and rows of fresh and saltwater wonders in the back. It was no hardship to explore each and every tank in the dim, air-conditioned corridors!
And in our moments when everyone is about to burst with impatience and grumpiness, when our bodies are covered in the small red bumps of heat-rash, when the day is about to be written off as a waste, we bail. We jump in the car, crank up the a/c, and jump out again when we’ve hit the water. Although it’s still hot and sunny at the bay, the kids can splash and be entertained for hours collecting shells and throwing them in the water. For me it all feels a little more bearable when there is an ocean breeze on my skin and an ocean view in my eyes.
It’s a spiritual act, really. Assessing that outside circumstances are driving you to an ugly state of heart and mind. Instead of willing my kids and I to just “be better”, we seek refuge in the beauty of a place that both calms us and infuses us with life. The result is we are better because of it. Truly, it’s amazing what Jesus can do with a fountain drink and a sailboat.
I’ll spare you the pictures of my swollen pregnant feet; ice baths for them have been employed nightly!
We’re hoping to get our mellow San Diego weather back soon, but until then we will be coping in the best ways we know how – with fans, and ice, and bay.
And most likely, we’ll see you in the card aisle…