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  • Tara R


Omg -- was this past weekend perfection or what? Never before have the weather gods treated MDW so well! Sure you've had to drag out the rain boots yet again, but wasn't the flip-flopping SO nice?

Yep, summer fun in the sun is here – but that doesn’t mean that it’s all beach-hair-don’t-care, stress-free bliss. Frolicking in your own backyard is a minefield compared to hibernating on the sofa. If you're not careful, anxiety can wreak havoc on your farmstand-chic version of the Great Outdoors. You can stay ahead of the curve, and away from the remote, by knowing your triggers:

TRAMPO-LUNACY I can’t with the trampoline. It’s the ultimate free-for-all war zone. A netted cage with catapulting, flipping children of various ages, sexes and sizes with no rules, regulations, or able-bodied adult watching who isn’t three glasses deep in her Whispering Angel. I’m all for physical outlets, but are our kids really so pent up that they need to wildly ricochet through space and time, every which way, like they’re trapped in a giant jiffy pop for fun? Can I offer you a nice, cold glass of screen time?

THE GODDAMN GOGGLES Perhaps most parents are more efficient than we are, but we spend at least 40 minutes a day looking for goggles, adjusting and readjusting ill-fitting goggles, listening to children bicker over who’s goggles belong to whom, and consoling said children over their puffy, red raccoon eyes. Goggles and children: Small, but mighty.

SUNSCREEN PSYCHOSIS It’s a lot of mental work trying to remember the exact hour you last put sunscreen on your kids. Or nagged them to do it. If my kids don’t look like a vanilla-frosted donut at all times, I’m convinced they’ll be burned beyond recognition. If I so much as detect a slight summer flush, I’m chasing someone around with three types of Elmer's-gluey protection and telling myself that they’ll thank me one day when they look like Emma Stone.

SUMMER WHITE WORRY Nothing pushes my zen summer vibes aside quicker than wearing white jeans while drinking a dark rose. Truly, few things get my stomach in a knotty panic like the lazy drip of a chocolate Chloe's pop heading towards my daughter’s bright white tank top. It happens so fast, and yet it feels like the world morphs into a slow-motion video of me trying to defy gravity. I didn't wait ten months to be Shout-ing it out all summer; I'll fight tough stains in the fall.

LEMONADE-STAND STRESS. There is really nothing cuter than watching your kids doing commerce. From the brainstorming to the cooking to the advertising to the selling – it’s all positively positive – for the first hour. As long as you keep your kids out of the street, the cookies from melting, the lemonade from souring, and the real possibility that you are giving someone e. coli, all good. It’s for charity!!

TICK TENSION. Running barefoot through the grass is a god-given birthright, yes? Yeah, well not for city people. I’m so relieved when my kids can finally enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon skipping through greener pastures, breaking out into impromptu baseball games with discarded tee-shirts as bases. I am NOT imagining them carousing amidst hungry ticks, weed poison and deer poop. I will NOT hyper-focus on every summer freckle with maniacal worry that my kids now have Lyme's. I am chill.

As the wise cocktail napkin reads: Keep calm, and pour on.

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