It is so hot. There hasn’t been rain in weeks. The grass is brown and crunchy, and I feel like I’m crushing dried vermicelli noodles as I walk. I keep watering my tomato, pepper, and squash plants in the front garden bed, but that’s about it. No amount of attention from my watering can will resuscitate my dehydrated gardens or the dead grass. If only it would rain…
The kids seem to be wilting, too. They start out energetically, waking at 5:30 or 6 a.m. I’ve learned that no amount of logic can convince an almost-three-year-old to return to his bed to sleep another half hour. And the baby, with his three new teeth and another on the way, is less than contented most days. At what age do humans begin enjoying sleep, I wonder?!
By noon, we’re all drained. The kids hang out in diapers and their skin is sweaty and warm. I’ve developed a few tactics for coping with the heat (as you may already know about my aversion to air conditioning).
I plunk them into the outdoor bathtub. It’s a brilliant concept, installed by our home’s previous owner for rinsing off beach sand. Little did he know how great it would be for little kids. The old clawfoot tub is nestled into a corner of the patio, sheltered by the porch, brick wall, and lilac tree. (It’s almost private enough to shower naked at night – and I do, sometimes, but only if J. is guarding nearby with a towel on hand!) The kids sit in the cool water bath, playing with their beach toys and boats, and splashing with more vigour than they’d ever be allowed inside the house. The patio stones get soaked, significantly less water remains in the tub than was inside initially, but the kids are calm and refreshed.
Late in the afternoon, when the sun is no longer so intensely hot, J. gets home from work and we head to the beach – a spectacular crescent of white sand that’s bordered by Lake Huron’s clear turquoise water. Add a few palm trees and it could almost look tropical! All four of us head into the water. The toddler splashes in his lifejacket with maniacal excitement, utterly fearless. Even the baby who clings to me in his swim diaper kicks his legs with joy at the feel of the cool water. He’s a little fish at heart, I can tell.
At night we sleep half-naked, sprawled across the beds, pillows hot beneath our faces. I hate not being able to find a cool spot to rest my head. Ceiling fans stay on constantly; portable fans follow us from room to room; we drink glass after glass of water. As much as I yearn for this hot weather throughout the cold winter months, I’m now fantasizing about a thorough, drenching, warm summer rain – the type that pounds onto the roof of the house and overflows in the eavestrough and leaves wonderfully deep puddles in the road. Everything will turn green again and even we people will feel revitalized.
I guess I’ll have to improvise a rain dance.