We’re All in This Together

Hey Vallarta parents! I bet right now you’re hot, sweaty and less than your most sparkly selves. You’re probably using more than an affordable amount of A/C, and just kind of hoping/wishing that CFE takes groupons. I bet your children, fresh out of school, are already taxing your final thread of fortitude.

Guess what: they probably know it and that’s why they’re doing it—they aren’t exactly their regular sparkly selves either. It’s hot, it’s summer vacation, and we’re in this until a) they go back to school, or b) you decide to join a penguin colony in the Antarctic (my current fantasy).
Also, in case you’ve forgotten, you have to get your kids back to school in this pressure cooker, because things aren’t going to cool off much until at least November.

I’m there with you, and I feel your pain. I have two teenagers who are genuinely bored with everything. On top of that, we do not use our A/C because we are not millionaires. I could list everything that is hateful and unpleasant to me right now, but it would be such a long list. And that’s because when my brain is in a state of such intense heat, I’m going to find even rainbows and butterflies to be the absolute worst.

Instead. I’m going to ask you all to join this community of parents who suffer through, but manage to make the best of things. I’m going to ask this because I feel like, when we feel uncomfortable, we are quick to judge others for their parenting flaws and slow to notice that we haven’t prepared a meal for our own family in six days! For example…

When you observe a mother giving in to a toddler in aisle six, assume that child has been weeping and sweating simultaneously since 5 am, and mom just needs a moment of silence before taking up her cross again.

When you watch a child telling a parent a joke, and that parent doesn’t laugh, he or she isn’t ignoring them or discouraging them from a career in stand-up comedy. It’s just that they have heard the same joke every three hours ever since school ended and Lord help us, it wasn’t funny the first time. They can’t laugh anymore. They truly can’t.

When you come upon a little girl supposedly watering the yard (so as to not be inside the house asking lots of questions and telling more jokes), but is just spraying herself and clearly not using water responsibly, cut her mom a bit of slack.

When you see families in line for movies or sitting at a restaurant with devices, or in the video arcades playing games without communicating with each other, can you just feel for these parents who love their children but need to be indoors with some cool air and positivity?

If you can do that for me, I promise you with all my heart that I can do it for you when your kid drops their ice cream onto my lap, or cries through my dinner on my first date night in a month, or shows up at the grocery store wearing (only) a cape and boots. We’ve all been there, and we’re all still there.

Sometimes we forget, and then we judge. But if we just give it a try, and even shoot out a smile to that poor suffering parent, we can make a difference to somebody’s day. Maybe it won’t even feel so hot (just kidding, it totally will).

Leza is the preschool coordinator and a nursery teacher at the American School of Puerto Vallarta.