I feel you should know that I just got home from the pool about thirty minutes ago and just barely avoided being carried off by a tribe of angry mosquitoes. And, listen, I wouldn’t trade mosquitoes for the drought conditions we’ve endured the last three summers, but it feels like the mosquitoes have returned with a vengeance and are ready to make us pay for all the Off! we didn’t have to use the last three years.
The problem is that I’d forgotten about life with mosquitoes. Gulley and I planned to spend all afternoon and evening at the pool with the kids because – and I don’t want to speak for her – these kids never quit asking questions and talking and informing us about various things ALL DAY LONG and there was the hope that if they swam long enough they’d be too tired to talk by sundown.
But as the sun began to fade into the summer sky, the mosquitoes and gnats began to gather for a feast. Mainly around Gulley and me since we were the only two mothers dumb enough to still be at the pool. We tried to convince the kids we should leave before the closing whistle, but were met with a cacophony of “YOU PROMISED!” and “YOU SAID WE’D SHUT IT DOWN TONIGHT!”
And I get it. I remember the allure of the evening swim from when I was a kid. There was nothing better than the pool at the Nanes Clubhouse in my childhood neighborhood when they turned on the lights in the deep end and you could do a backflip off the diving board and swim down and see the kaleidoscope of light underwater.
(This totally just made me think about a book I read when I was Caroline’s age called The Night Swimmers. Does anyone else remember it?)
However, that was a simpler time when people didn’t worry about things like “chemicals” and “toxicity” and there were large trucks that drove down the streets every night that sprayed out all manner of DEET. Not to mention, nobody had to worry about getting the West Nile. And so if you had to coat yourself in Calamine lotion at the end of the day, so be it. No harm done. It mixed well with the Solarcaine you had to use because it wasn’t like we knew anything about sunscreen. The only thing I ever remember putting on besides baby oil was some Hawaiian Tropic SPF 4 and maybe some zinc across my nose but that was only so I’d look cool like the lifeguards.
Oh, the 1970s. What a sweet time.
On the upside, other than the unfortunate mosquito infestation, the pool was a good idea. We returned home exhausted and I sent Caroline straight to the shower and then to her playroom so she can watch T.V. or weave a potholder or paint the walls for all I care. Just as long as I can sit here on the couch by myself for about an hour without anyone asking me “Why did you say that?”, “Who are you texting?”, “What are we going to do now?” and – MY PERSONAL FAVORITE – “I’m hungry. What can I eat?”
I’ve forgotten that summer requires a little bit of an adjustment period. Much the same way you’d have to adjust if you woke up tomorrow and had an extra leg. A leg that likes to give its opinion on things and leaves various pairs of flip-flops all over the house.
So that’s where we are right now. I know we’ll settle in and get into a normal routine in the next week or so and I’m still so thankful that it’s summertime and not the school year.
I’m also glad that I didn’t get abducted by mosquitoes tonight because it was a close call and I don’t think I’d do well in their world.