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Hot and uncomfortable

June 18th, 2004 · 1 Comment

Hot. It’s been hot and uncomfortable.

My ears begin to burn the moment I step into the sunshine. I pity my plants who have nowhere to hide from the heat.

To keep the kids cool, I inflated a new pool – a big blue elephant with a shower snout – and let them splash about in the shade.

Yes it’s been hot this week. Uncomfortable too.

I don’t like conflict. As a kid, I hated it. My mom documented that at age two I would yell “Knock it off you guys!” as my conflict resolution counseling mantra. I guess it wasn’t effective. After my parents’ divorce, I spent my childhood continually in the middle of two extremes, or so it seemed. There were other conflicts with friends and family too. I tried to play peacemaker in these adult arguments but war seemed to be the way of the grown-up world. I didn’t like it and I still don’t. Whenever I watched violent films, I used to tune out during the fight scenes. Sometimes I’ll still skim passages in books that bother me. I want people to be able to get along, and I get upset when they get upset with each other.

This week I’ve had moments when I thought I might stop posting. I didn’t know if I believed in blogs. I didn’t know if I believed in God. Or anything in between. I’ve felt uncomfortable in some communities this week. Too much conflict. People having problems getting along, drawing lines, taking sides, forming armies, aligning loyalties. He said/she said/they said/we said. I guess this is what grownups do, as I learned from my childhood, but I wish it wasn’t so.

As I waited for the pump to cool while inflating the pool (for every ten minutes of use I had to let it rest another twenty!), I weeded the yard. While pulling up dandelions, I thought about how difficult it is to get to the root of the conflict in relationships. Like weeds, if a little remains, it will continue to return. Perhaps that is why people seem to be in perpetual disagreement. Human nature is hard ground to dig. And I confess that I’m not always the best at getting to the root myself: sometimes I’m too afraid to confront it, even in myself.

When I finished weeding the yard and inflating the pool, it was time for the girls to put on their swimsuits. We went upstairs and woke Elisabeth from her nap. For the first time she wore a swim diaper and swim suit. She looked cute. They all did.

Then we headed downstairs and out the door to enjoy the elephant. As I sat and watched the girls splash in their swimsuits, I thought about the grown-up world with it’s battles and behaviors. The words that are said, the deeds that are done, the pain that is caused. How hot and uncomfortable it had been this week. If that is indeed what adults to do each other, then I don’t want to be one. I’ll regress instead.

Looking at my daughters in the pool, I realized that what I need to do is play with a smiling plastic pachyderm and dance about on the grass, barefoot in a bathing suit, carefree, giggling. They are kids on a hot summer day getting cool and wet with a big blue elephant and lots of laughter. Fun in the sun, frolicking. Some of the spray splashes me, as I’m observing the scene, and I realize that I want to join them. How refreshing it would be to be a girl. If we could all be kids again.

A childish wish, isn’t it?


Tags: journal

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Katherine // Jun 19, 2004 at 2:33 pm

    I don’t think so – get in your suit and jump in!!! Why not??? Ok, so you still have all the responsibility on your shoulders, but you can sure join in the fun.