Yesterday was one of those days when Summer says, “I’m not done with you yet, bitches!” From comfortable days and very cool nights to a day of 90+ temps and stifling humidity with no transition. A day, obviously, to stay home and hug your air conditioners more tightly than your children.
The wife and I managed to stay mostly out of the hellish wet-heat weather, but eventually, I had to drop her off at the air-conditioned neighborhood center she heads up and I had to go to the un-air-conditioned school where our little goddess has been attending third grade since just after Labor Day.
I park in the city library lot across the street and walk the roughly one-block distance to the back of the school, because I’m not trying to fight for parking just to get close. I can handle this.
The fans are going hard and heavy in the cafeteria where we pick up our kids if they don’t walk home or take the bus. It’s not cool, but at least it’s not stifling. I can handle this.
I get the goddess and we head out into the brutal heat. We walk toward the car, which will soon be air-conditioned. I can handle this.
“It’s really, really hot today, Daddy,” she tells me as we walk, her toasty hand in mine, and this is one of those rare times I’m thinking: I can’t wait to let go of your wee digits!I
“Yeah, it is,” I answer. “Brutal.”
“You don’t know, Daddy.”
“Oh, I do. I had to walk over here from the car. And your Mom and I went to the farmer’s market, so we were out in the sun for a while.”
“Yeah? Well I was in a classroom with no fans and outside for recess. You weren’t.”
“Believe me, I still know how hot it is. But you have an air-conditioned bedroom at home waiting for you.”
“Good!” she exclaims.
Then we approach the library parking lot.
“Daddy? Can we go in the library?”
I know the library’s air conditioning is sub-standard because of budget cuts. They operate at the bare minimum level to keep the books from suffering harm from heat and humidity.
“Honey,” I answer, “you know it’s not necessarily that cool in there. I thought you wanted to get home and…”
“Just a little while, Daddy?”
“Uhhhh…Jeez!…OK, sure, but we’re not staying long.”
I think I can handle this.
We get inside, and she plops down on a chair and sighs. Not what I expected.
“What’s the plan, kiddo?”
“Yo! Daughter-of-mine! What’s the gameplan?”
“So, you’re just going to sit in a chair in just-OK air conditioning? I thought maybe you wanted to get some books.”
I don’t know how to handle this. But at least it’s cooler in the library than outside. I plant myself in a kid-sized chair with my grown-ass butt to keep an eye on her while she’s in the children’s library area, and take out my iPhone. At least she’s not trying to play outside, which would mean I’d have to be outside, since for various reasons I figure I need to be in the vicinity to keep an eye out for threats…including threats she might pose to her own well-being with questionable impulse-powered decisions.
I don’t think three minutes pass before I hear, “Daddy?”
“Can Izabela and I go outside to play?”
“What? Didn’t you say it was way too hot today, even outside?”
“Yeah, but we’ll be in the shade.”
Oh, yes, the shade, where it’s only 90 degrees with high humidity instead of 92 degrees with high humidity. But I know this is a loser of a battle. If I say no, I’m a jerk for not letting her play like a kid and she’ll be poopy. If I say that it’s time to leave, I’m a jerk for not letting her have time with a friend her age.
So, I suck it up.
“OK, you can play outside, but not for long. Maybe 15 minutes, 20 tops.”
“Yay! Thanks, Daddy!”
When I get outside, all I can think of is: I can’t handle this. *sigh*
But still, I suffer it for at least a half hour, and hope it goes on my karmic credit card, because to her, it’s still too early to leave the moist-baking heat and she doesn’t grasp that she’s gotten twice as much time as I originally gave her.
I’ll handle this.