Is It Fall Yet!?
Guest Author: Kris Benassi
Summer is my least favorite season. Memphis summers in particular have been the bane of my existence since I moved here in 1988 through today, with the exception of the one summer I lived in L.A. and the ten summers I lived in the Seattle area.
In high school, I swam outside and I participated in outdoor events only when large groups of friends (mostly my youth group) called for it. Otherwise, I was indoors.
I burn. I am allergic to grass, the sun (literally) and I have always struggled with my weight therefore, summer clothes were not my go to outfits. My brothers friends joked I was a vampire since I didn’t want to see the sun ever.
I dreamt of moving to Massachusetts, Maine or Colorado to escape the blistering heat.
Seattle was an amazing change for this summer hater. The summers in Seattle are mostly delightful (80s as the high) and there are lakes and parks everywhere. Most houses do not have air conditioning!
But eventually we moved here to Memphis, TN and then to Bartlett, TN to be closer to family. Getting closer to at least one set of grandparents meant Memphis, TN summers! So I traded my perfectly controlled indoor existence for a place where my house can get to 90+ inside – and force me outside! Slightly ironic, I would say.
Fast forward to having children.
Children by nature want to be outside, don’t they? Mothers by nature want to support their children and encourage healthy desires. I had to take my children outside for them to play, bump, bruise, imagine and build self-confidence! So God began introducing me to mom friends who did not have the issues I had with summer and the outside world.
Within a month of our move, I met a dear woman who was new in town as well. Our youngest daughters were two at the time, and became fast friends. And this lady insisted on park play-dates and being outside no matter the weather!
But…yet again, God helped me through community and friendships, step up to a task, that alone, I could not handle, but with a girlfriend or two, I could survive and often enjoy enough of the fun to negate some of the heat!
I began looking forward to park play-dates where our babies and toddlers would swing or play and we would chat and encourage and laugh. We could look around and see our kid was doing better on this skill or worse on that skill. And we would laugh about how different the little ones were, and yet they were the same in their needs and love.
I had almost forgotten my intense dislike for summer because me and my children were building loving friendships – outdoors – in the summer!
Do I still dislike the summer heat – yes. However God is good. He has helped me work through my loathe toward summer. God cares about the things that concern us. He helped me get outside during the summers, and in the interim, He blessed our family with wonderful friendships.
However, given the choice, I still pick a Barnes ‘n Noble play-date over a park but with the tribe the Lord has helped me build, I am giving my girls a more balanced life rather than choosing to do it alone. And I am grateful every day for a God who provides what we need to parent these precious kiddos!
(Photo provided by Kris Benassi)
Galatians 6:2 New International Version (NIV)
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
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“I am Kris Benassi, wife of Tony Benassi and mom to Gigi (6) and Josie (5). I am living the life I did not plan. In other words, I no longer manage an accounting department but rather I stay home with our girls, home-school, and co-coordinate a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. I am trying to follow God’s will for our family and currently feeling a lot of nudging to make some major changes to my own self-control and will.”