You know that point in an Arizona summer when you’ve just about had it? When the kids stand with their faces pressed against the sliding doors asking – again – if they can go outside and you have to say – again – that no, it’s too hot. And you’ve already done this twelve times, and it’s only 9am?
For me this usually happens in August, when we have at LEAST another 8 weeks of heat to suffer through. But when the moment comes this year, I’m going to put these pictures on my fridge, make an iced coffee, and re-read this post. Because I’m here to tell you, last week I got a taste of what a real winter with small kids is like…and it made me more than a little bit thankful to be raising our family in Arizona.
For the six years that we’ve been in the Valley I’ve explained to our family and friends from around the country that an Arizona summer is pretty much like a Midwest winter. You’re forced to stay inside, to wait for the car to cool down (instead of warm up), and look forward to vacations in milder climes. It’s not fun, but you get through it. I thought this comparison was pretty accurate; and I should know, having lived in both Chicago and Phoenix after growing up in California.
But – BUT! – that was before babies. Before 5-point-harnesses and tiny mittens and unsteady feet on icy steps and soggy socks and hats with ear flaps and snaps and buttons and zippers and velcro and MommyIneedtogopotty and OH MY GOSH Mommy needs a cocktail, like, STAT.
Seriously, winter with wee ones is No. Joke. And we were on vacation! For a week! We only left the cozy confines of my in-laws’ house for things we wanted to do. I can’t imagine the slog of day-in-day-out daycare drop-offs and grocery shopping, or the patience it must take to look at those pink, chapped cheeks and permanently snot-encrusted noses knowing you have only two choices: stay in and go bananas, or bundle up and brave the cold.
Yes, summers in Arizona are tough with (and without) kids. Hot car seats aren’t fun. Putting sunscreen on a toddler is like wrestling with an octopus. But having had the benefit of a side-by-side comparison, I’m 100% convinced we have it easier than the mamas in the Midwest and Northeast. So if you catch me complaining about the heat this summer, in this space, on Twitter, or to anyone who will listen, you have my permission to remind me how lucky we are.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to unpack and put away the kids’ snow gear where it belongs – in a box in the garage.
Photos by Sarah Powers. Photo collage made with Picnik – give it a try! It’s fun!
Sarah Powers is a writer and Scottsdale mom of two. She came to the valley from Southern California by way of Chicago and would take Arizona summers over Midwest winters any day. A perfect day for Sarah starts with coffee, ends with chardonnay and includes lots of baby giggles and sticky-fingered kid kisses in between. She loves high ponytails, showtunes and using her kids as an excuse to stay in and go to bed early, which she would do anyway. Sarah tweets early and often about the messy, tender, fun, funny and irreverent moments of parenthood at www.twitter.com/powersofmine.