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Chronicles of Parenting

Chronicles of Parenting: Mixed Messages of Summer

Soon, it will officially be summer. Children across the land will be released from school. The days, weeks, and months will stretch out before us, filled with all kinds of unbridled fun. Well, except for those parts that aren’t fun. In fact, along the way, you might hear yourself sending some mixed messages like these:
Get out in that beautiful sun! Your body uses that wonderful vitamin D in order to grow and stay healthy! BUT: Here, before you go out, we need to spend 35 minutes slathering on this mixed messages of summersunscreen to protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Insects and spiders are so interesting! They’re just tiny creatures – they’re probably more afraid of you than you are of them! BUT: Put on these long pants, socks, and also gloves, even though it’s 95 degrees out. We don’t want ticks to latch onto your skin, suck your blood then leave you with a life-altering disease.
I just got the pool pass so we can have a whole summer of leisurely fun! BUT: Here, squeeze into this flotation thingy so that you don’t sink to the bottom of the pool and drown.
We’re going on a trip! It will be an adventure! BUT: First we need to sit in the cramped car for several hours strapped into our seats, immobile, writhing to be free. Here, I’m just going to wedge this duffel bag onto your lap, okay?
Yes! There’s nothing more carefree than the feeling of grass or sand between your toes! BUT: Put on your shoes in case you step on a shard of glass or a rusty nail. And don’t forget that birds, deer, and groundhogs poop anywhere they please; in fact, our yard is basically their toilet.
It’s so nice to eat out on the deck, al fresco! BUT: Don’t directly touch any of the wood on these railings, these stairs, or on this wooden furniture, because they are all teaming with splinters. You remember how difficult it is to get those out, right?
This warm weather is fantastic! It’s so great to not have to put on all those coats and hats every day! BUT: Here’s some more water. You really need to drink liquids just about every waking moment in order to stay hydrated.
Yes, climbing trees is great for balance, coordination, and confidence, not to mention the perfect way to celebrate the glories of nature! BUT: Falling from that height could snap one of your bones in half, most likely in your arm, which means you’d have to wear a stiff, smelly cast for the rest of the summer.
Indeed! Ice cream really is a refreshing and delicious way to cool down! BUT: Too much sugar and fat can lead to heart disease or diabetes. Instead, let’s eat some of these carrots I packed; they’ve been in the cooler so they’re nice and chilled.
Okay, okay, okay, never mind. I guess we can just kick off our shoes and have ice cream for dinner. After all, Mommy and Daddy have no desire to cook, and we can always make better choices come Fall…

Jocelyn Jane Cox. Photo Credit: ©2015 Dave ZornowJocelyn Jane Cox is a  freelance writer and author. Her 2012 humor book on life in the New York suburbs, The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness: How to handle natural disasters, design dilemmas and various infestations, is available on Amazon.com. Chronicles of Parenting, Blue Rock School, House Tour 2017Follow her on Twitter at @JocelynJaneCox.


The Chronicles of Parenting
is sponsored by Blue Rock School House & Garden Tour on June 10.

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