I Can’t Live Without ________.

Summer is brutal. And I live in Cleveland, where it’s nowhere near as brutal as, well, everywhere else. I just can’t take the heat. I’m a wimp, I know. In my defense, I’ve spent 4 of the last 5 summers in 3rd trimester pregnancy. I don’t do well in the heat when I’m NOT pregnant. It is not pretty to see me try and cope with high temps when I’m waddling around trying to make it through the last and hardest part of pregnancy. I genuinely feel bad for those around me during this stage. Outdoor temperatures upward of 78 are unbearable for me, and anything above 72 inside is unacceptable. I just get mean. Mean and snippy. I am irritable, and some would probably describe me as unreasonable. Things that should not upset an adult are unfortunate hot-buttons for this lady when I’m feeling sticky or sweaty.
It’s ridiculous, I’m aware. Why should I expect that the climate will remain at a comfortable and controlled level at all times? Who promised me that? Where does this sense of entitlement come from? I’m sure my mother would love to weigh in on that one, but let’s just say that was a hypothetical question. All summer long I have aspired to do all manner of fun and magical outdoor activities with my kids: the zoo, the kiddie amusement park, splash pads, the beach (Lake Erie), the playground behind our house. But I become a different mom after 5 minutes in the sun. Grumpy, bossy, generally un-fun. I need to work on this. I know during the seventh month straight of winter in Cleveland I’ll be dreaming of a day of sunshine and the opportunity to get outside with my kids. I plan to spend next summer not pregnant, and I’m hoping that will help my demeanor during the warmer months. Air conditioning is a privilege, and I know lots of people without it. I do NOT understand how they are remaining polite and seemingly even-tempered, let alone simply surviving the heat. I am very thankful that I have air conditioning, in my home and my vehicle. It is probably God’s gift to those around me, because I would otherwise be unbearable and maybe even violent.
What is it about certain privileges such as air conditioning that we come to feel we deserve? That one is my hangup, but in this day and age it seems a lot of us are walking around feeling like we are owed things that simply haven’t been promised to us. People with 1000 cable channels get upset when they are suddenly missing ESPN19, because somehow 18 other ESPN channels aren’t enough to feed their need for sports coverage. If our Internet connection isn’t functioning at lightning speed and we have to wait more than 6 seconds for a page to refresh, we come unglued and see it as some sort of injustice. The cost of gas keeps rising, and so does our blood pressure because of it. The salad bar no longer stocks cherry tomatoes at our local pizza buffet, and we take it as a personal affront. Our medical coverage still leaves us with 20% to pay, and someone needs to answer for it. I’m not saying that some of these aren’t valid concerns that need to be dealt with. But the attitude we’ve developed with regard to the things we think should be at our disposal is a little off-putting when you consider what others are living with. In much of the world, it’s very hot and there is no air conditioning, cable tv is entirely unheard of, as is television, the idea of the Internet is incomprehensible, or only for the rich, the cost of gas doesn’t matter because the only mode of transportation is walking, getting hung up over the lack of cherry tomatoes seems absurd in light of the idea of unlimited pizza, and medical treatment is unavailable.
That’s extreme, and a little aimed as a guilt trip, but you get the point. These are the kinds of things I tell my kids when I’m trying to foster an appreciation for the things they have. But adults have this “what about what I deserve?” mentality, as well.
What do we do about it? I don’t know. What do you think? What are the things you can’t make it through the week without? A grande white chocolate mocha? An ice cold Dr. Pepper from McDonald’s? A pedicure? A short line at the grocery store checkout?
Is there a solution? Are we justified in feeling this way? Are YOU comfortable with continuing?
Tell me your thoughts.

Categories: children, Family, Parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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