Burning my skin off


I’ve mentioned previously that I grew up in Utah.   The land of many wives, strange liquor laws  and 100-degree summer days.   Summer in Wisconsin surprises me every year, specifically because summer is actually fall.   With the exception of that one week in July where it finally reaches 90 degrees and the air feels like a damp bath towel. ,

The other day I kicked the boys outside, I do this from time to time when I just can’t do my job any longer.   It was 1:33 PM and everyone needed more space to live, mostly so they would actually live to see the next day.   It was gorgeous, 76 degrees, sunny with a cool breeze.   I kid you not, within 2.5 seconds one of my small humans was back at the door asking to come in because “it is so hot my skin is burning off and I am going to die”.   Friends, this weather is amazing, perfect and exactly the kind that children throughout the ages gladly clapped their hands and skipped around in.  If we were being honest, 76 is actually not even a summer temperature, it is straight up fall weather.   How do I know this?  Because the trees tell me with their orange and yellow leaves, it’s Aug 28 and WINTER IS COMING.   

I can’t be too irritated with them, I spent 9 years living here totally pissed about the weather.   During the months of May - July, I was dazed like a prisoner that had just wandered into the sunlight after an almost life sentence in a dungeon.   August-April, I was angry, sad and generally a pain in the ass because winter was either coming, here or would never leave.   My circumstances were never perfect because they never looked exactly how I wanted them.   It took a Herculean effort to lift this weight off myself, to embrace the contrast of the seasons, the insane cold of the winter and find the bright side of all of it so I could finally put down my miserable pity party.   I’ll be frank, I carried that misery around like a badge of honor, I thought it wasn’t me that was making my life hell, it was the weather in Wisconsin.   Surprise, surprise, I had the power to choose to feel however I wanted in spite of what it looked like outside.  One of my favorite things to do is get cozy with a book and mug of tea, lo and behold a cold winter day is perfect for that.   

I tell the drama king I’m raising that he gets to choose how he’s going to react to something he doesn’t like.  Slowly but surely he is learning.  But first, the Mommy had to learn, and practice and make mistakes and learn it again.   Here we are finding a way to love our weather no matter that we think it might kill us.   

In case you’re wondering, I never did let the kids back in on that “burning my skin off”, mostly fall day, and miraculously they both lived and chose to find some happy.   Their happy looks like a chalk drawing of a Pokemon character that is murdering someone.   It’s just a drawing right?  It wasn’t murdering me, right?  Even if it was, the peace and quiet I had on that afternoon was worth all the hard work.  

If this winter finds you grouchy and complaining, come on over.   I promise to lock you outside until you turn that frown upside down.