Summer is Overrated

| July 26, 2010 | Comments (4)

One of the things about living here is we tend to wax poetically about all the simple joys of summer.  We talk about spending time outside, enjoying the warm weather and smelling the summer flowers.  We talk about taking bike rides and swimming for hours.  It’s about this point in the summer season that I wonder where those simple summer joys are hiding.

When you think about it, we hang too many of our hopes on summer.  A good summer is the perfect mix of warm days and cool nights.  When is the last time that really happened?  Last summer people complained it was too cool.  This summer we’re locked in a permanent heatwave that keeps us moving from one air conditioned place to another.

Where are the carefree summer days we dream of in the dead of a Chicago winter?  As a parent, summer is one big concern.  We have to make sure the children are sunscreened and wearing hats to minimize overexposure to the sun’s dangerous rays.  We have to make sure the children have bug spray to reduce the chances some infected mosquito will give them West Nile Virus.  We have to make sure they are wearing helmets or other protective gear depending upon the casual outdoor activity.

We know about the dangers of not wearing sunglasses and the need to stay hydrated.  We hear reports about the long-term health dangers of food cooked on charcoal.  We know children are not safe in or near pools, even those who are strong swimmers.  We hear about the dangers of spending the day on the beach — bacteria in the water, bugs in the sand, etc.  It’s enough already.

I think it’s time to stop putting so much pressure on a few months of the year.  Most of the time spring and fall are actually better for outdoor activities.  The weather is more moderate and the bugs not as active.  Summer needs a downgrade to just another season in the year.  It’s too much pressure to expect so much of just a few months.

This is an original post for The Chicago Moms.  Image courtesyof Stock Exchange.  Shari can be found at Two Times the Fun.

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Category: Chicago

About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

Comments (4)

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  1. I guess you are a “glass is half empty” kind of person?
    It’s true though, we do overestimate the power of summer fun. And you didn’t even mention the fun of having kids home from school while you attempt to work and keep the household running smoothly.

    • Shari says:

      I am actually a glass is half full person. I just cannot stand the summer hype. There’s so much pressure to have a FUN SUMMER. It’s like we’ve failed if every day is not FUN.

  2. Lisa says:

    I agree, mostly. I am a fall person myself. I don’t like the heat of Chicago summers (though you’re right we didn’t have much of that last year it was cold and wet through most of our baseball days). But we had a great summer weekend this weekend, so despite my NASTY sunburn, I’m not swearing off summer all together! :)

  3. Jordan says:

    I too was thinking recently about the need to lower my expectations for summer here. In part it’s the humidity that we’ve had for weeks but it’s also the fact that many of our kids have a hard time losing the routine of school and come a bit unmoored. One of my kids is like that and we had a very rough transition fro school to summer. I’d personally love to be in a year round school. It would be so nice to have more time off during the fall or spring and a little less in the summer.

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