The Rockwood Files: From one mother to another

Dear Mother Nature,

Clearly, something is bothering you. Why don’t we just talk about it? Keeping your feelings bottled up like this isn’t healthy, you know, and when you get steamed, the rest of us have to endure the hottest, most humid summer on record.

Today I tried to run a few errands with the kids and worked up a sweat just getting in and out of the minivan. Four-year-old Kate asked why I was rolling down the four windows in the van before heading into the grocery store. I explained that it would help keep the van cooler while we were inside the store. But when we returned to the van 15 minutes later, she climbed inside and wailed, “It didn’t work, Mom! It’s too hot in here.”

She was right. It was WAY too hot in there. The air was so thick with heat it seemed like we could almost touch it. If I hadn’t cracked the windows before leaving the van there to bake on the black asphalt, I imagine the air inside might have combusted into a fireball right there in Row 4 next to the shopping cart corral.

As you know, in this part of the country June is usually warm but pleasant, with only one or two really hot days late in the month. But this year June acted a lot more like August, which makes us nervous about what July might do. There just aren’t enough popsicles in the freezer section to combat this kind of intense heat.

Normally, I wouldn’t question you. I know you’ve been around a while and probably don’t appreciate a younger mother like me taking issue with your decisions. But we both know this isn’t the first time you’ve gone to extremes this year.

Remember back in April when you turned on the waterworks with all that rain? What was supposed to be a series of gentle April showers turned into a deluge of fierce floods. The May flowers needed hip-waders just to push through the soggy spring.

Perhaps something happened early this year that set you off. Because none of us will soon forget the way winter walloped us with a record 23-inch snowfall in February. Did you and Father Time have some kind of cosmic spat leading up to Valentine’s Day? Is that why you gave us the cold, snowy shoulder for so long?

I can only hope the two of you will work things out soon. Maybe then these volatile mood swings will mellow out into a more predictable pattern. No offense, but record-breaking weather is more exhausting than it is exciting.

If you don’t feel like talking through your feelings, at least consider taking a day or two off work. Perhaps you could book some time at a spa to soothe your jagged nerves. In fact, if you’d like a little time in a sauna, you might try ducking into a parked minivan on a grocery store parking lot during a 100-degree day. But be sure the driver rolled down the windows first. It doesn’t help much but, during triple-digit July heat, every little bit helps.

Yours truly,

One Hot Mama

Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here.