The summer is here …
And I can't escape the dampness.
Or … the laundry.
It's not just the infernal rain and the wall of humidity that has me down -- though the depressing idea of traveling around inside a mosquito net has crossed my mind numerous times – it's also the moisture that just naturally trails children wherever they go.
The winter may be long gone, but there are still runny noses, which, despite my objections, are often dried not just by their shirtsleeves, but also by bed sheets, bath towels, and decorative pillows.
There are the showers, to which both kids have graduated, where a gap in the curtain causes a small river of water to pool by the sink.
And then there is the pool … which I can't understand for the life of me how no one in the entire family – including the husband – can manage to bring a towel with them to mop up the afterswim.
I suppose the joy of crashing into the cool water at the end of these overheated days obliterates the need to be prepared.
Who needs to make plans when they still have me – the lifeguard, waiter and de facto cabana boy – to step and fetch it?
Still, long trails of water stretch through the house, forking off into various directions as each of them dashed for dry land.
I am never quick enough. No one can wait all drippy and shivery at the door for the few minutes it takes to gather a few sheets of terrycloth, which haven't been clean long enough to be folded and stacked away.
And it's not just from swimming, either. The boy has taken to making “experiments” using tap water and soap in his room, and the girl has to wash her hair using every product in the bathroom … both usually end in explosions and the need for clean-up crews.
These are the summer rituals I could do without.
I used to love summer. Longer days, walking around barefoot and the anticipation of vacation plans made ordinary workdays seem restful. Even at home, it seemed the weight of the world always lifted in direction correlation to the weight of the laundry basket.
Gone were the double layer pants and heavy sweaters. In their stead were light, cotton shorts and sleeveless shirts. Even a mountain of them seemed like a molehill.
I'm not sure what changed, but something has. The washer and dryer are in operation daily, and the linen closet is always empty.
The laundry molehills have returned to their mountainous size, though now they come in a multitude of colors.
I can't seem to take a step without tripping over piles of freshly laundered towels, now soggy and peppered with sand.
“Didn't I just wash these?” I say to the dog, who is the only one in the house who pays much attention to me (even though she is also likely to ignore whatever it is I say unless it involves the words “dinner,” “walk” or “squirrel”).
Now, if I could just train her to use the washer and dryer.