Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hot Child in the City

Each year when the weather turns warm I start to think about things like running through the sprinklers, the sweet sticky taste of mango and long evenings of sitting on the porch watching people play ring toss.

I grew up in Florida where the weather didn't differ much from spring to summer but there was one distinct difference: instead of being locked in a classroom we were allowed to roam free in every backyard within walking distance and splash for what felt like forever in our neighbors' pools.

When I was very young, before central air-conditioning was the norm and when my parents didn't have the money for huge electric bills, after our baths at night, my mother would dress us in nothing but our underwear (Wonder Woman in my case, Spiderman in my brother's). Later, at night after we slipped on our jammies, we'd huddle up in our parents’ bedroom - the one room in which they'd run the wall-unit air-conditioning – and all snuggle in bed together. In the morning, using sheets, comforters and pillows, we’d pitch a tent in their bedroom and watch cartoons while we ate our breakfast, waiting for our friends to beckon us from our house for a day under the Florida sun.

Those days didn't last long - eventually I got older and realized that 'big girls' don't walk around in just their underwear and my parents eventually installed central air-conditioning at which point my brother and I were relocated to our own bedrooms for the night. But, the memories are some of the fondest of my childhood.

Maybe it’s just a desperate attempt to back some of those memories but I've been really into experimenting with girls' dress patterns lately - the really open, airy kind; the kind you could just slip on over a diaper or that pair of underoos. The kind of dresses that would be just as comfortable as if wearing nothing at all. The kind that would be perfect for those, to steal the immortal words of Richard Marx, endless summer nights.