I hate being hot. I dread summer with its sticky, sickly heat. Searing seat belts, sweaty scalp, and the general smell of wilted plants just holding out for nightfall are enough to nauseate me. Even then, I also yearn for the season because I feel dead when I’m cold and alive when I’m warm. Sunlight reaches through my skin and warms the blood. It grasps my chest and pulls at my heart, filling my being with the great desire to create art, laugh incessantly, and kiss babies like I’m the Pope.
It’s been rainy this week. Sporadic showers keep my lawn green and muddy. It also keeps me trapped inside by this invisible barrier of chill. I consider a jacket just so I can get my restless children out of the house, but when I look out at the sea of grey that fills the sky, I change my mind. Before children, rainy days were poetic. Book in hand, the musty smell of yellowing paper mingled with the steam of hot cider. On an itchy, worn couch beside a bay window, wrapped in an afghan painstakingly weaved one knot at a time, I could read as the pattering sound of rain lulled me into a literary trance. I could bake warm treats that weren’t good for me or just write about them to save calories. I could watch The Princess Bride or Pride and Prejudice without guilt. And I could reasonably justify these languorous activities because they were laced with philosophical thought that would make Socrates weep with pride.
With children, rainy days are different. The hum of rain is drowned out by the shrill sounds of whining or screaming. Fighting erupts over each activity. Coloring becomes broken crayons and broken dreams. PlayDoh becomes muddy, mixed colors and cries over the last purely pink pot of dough. Train tracks become train wrecks. Puppets become projectiles. I would send the little tornadoes out into the cold, but I know the two minutes of silence will not be worth the proceeding ten minutes of complaining and runny noses. I resort to the television and choose my sanity over their melted brains.
I think I need a nap. Wake me up with the sun is out.