I was probably the very last generation to not have...what's that called? Central Air.
In the summer, sometime around the crying shame of August, we'd beg and plead with our father to PLEASE put the A/C in the living room! We'd pin up sheets to keep the cool air in and my day would be split between running around barefoot and sandy at the beach and trying to stay in the living room as long as humanly possible. I swear to you it was at least 20 degrees cooler in there.
But that isn't really what this is about. As a kid, I loved the 10 hour days at the beach. Running around in my swimsuit with whatever tribe of kids happened to be there. Breaking only for the coveted can of soda or shared french fries. We'd have a picnic table in the grove with two or more coolers in the shade, filled with fruit, treats, snacks and dinner. I haven't a clue how we entertained ourselves ALL DAY. Especially when it got hot as hell and the tide was DEAD low. No smartphones. Cell phones were still gigantic and made phone calls. We'd get there sometime in the late morning and not leave til after dark. I'd be filthy and full of good food. It was a good life, and I am very grateful to have been lucky enough for my parents to shlep us to the beach with ALL THAT STUFF. On a nearly daily basis.
It was the ideal kid summer. Days and nights at the beach, rainy days doing family activities, Nicktoons in the afternoons on the rare day off from the beach, s'mores for dessert....Playing with the fire at the grills. General kid shenanigans.
Anyway. As a kid, other than hot nights, thunderstorms, sheer terror of bees and the school district telling me what to read, it was a great time. I never really wanted those summer days to end.
But now as I am more aware of NF and the strange symptoms that accompany it, I really dread the summer. My senses, already on over drive from my NF, are on hyper drive in the heat. Weird smells of slowly rotting garbage assault my senses at the bottom of the stairs. There were times that as a child, I could -actually- smell the milk going bad in the fridge. Swear to God. Matt and I either need to take garbage out on a regular basis or keep the stuff prone to rot (fruit, veggies, dairy, etc) in a separate grocery bag in the fridge. It's awful. I can smell things Matt can't smell and it makes me CRAZY and agitated. There's no real way around it. There are days I do want to snort vinegar, in hopes it may kill off some senses and make me more normal. I can smell the tiniest base smells that don't actually exist yet.
Another thing -is- the humidity. It revs up my peripheral neuropathy. I itch frequently and all over. Which leaves marks because I'm over heated. Which makes me look I was attacked by a cat.
The heat and humidity is unbearable.I can't escape it.
When you're a kid, you relish the long summer days. It doesn't get dark until sometime around 8:30. You stay up way, way, way past your normal bed time and toast marshmallows or go to the movies or catch fireflies. You catch up on sit com reruns or Nick At Night.
But as someone who spent the majority of her last four or five summers going to bed at 7 pm to get up at 3 am, you generally loathe the summer. Loathe it. You can hardly have time to go have supper at the beach. And sure. Go ahead and say it "But Jenn! It's summer! You should enjoy it and not sleep as much!" That's easy for someone to say who works a 9-5 job and gets to leave early in the summer on Fridays. I never slept well as a child. I still don't sleep well. Period. So, yeah, if I need to go to bed early so I can function the next day, so be it. It sucks and it's unfair, but that's life. And honestly? I'm not -exactly- a social person. Summer concerts, Shakespeare on the Sound and other "Fun" summer events just make me nervous. Well, not so much "nervous" as "slightly uneasy and agitated". I like family gatherings and small gatherings of friends.
It's not you, large gathering of slightly drunk strangers. It's me.