Posted in Writing Life


It’s been skunky hot in Toronto for 4 days and though we have 2 a/c units we haven’t put them in the windows. That may sound crazy or noble but it’s neither. The a/c would block the 2 biggest windows so we couldn’t open them at night, which cools the house down more than otherwise.

When I say hot, I am talking temperatures of 34 C (93F). At 10:00 am it’s already 30 (86). This is how we’ve coped: doing as little as possible. In the afternoon, late afternoon on FIFA days (I have a child engrossed in the World Cup), we walk a block to the park. I sit in the shade while the kids hang out in the wading pool.

I have to admit that by yesterday I was fed up with the heat, and by the time we got to the wading pool at 4:30, after Spain trumped Germany, I was not a happy camper. I was crabby and queasy and unpleasantly flushed.

My older daughter inveigled me into the wading pool. I felt marginally better with my feet going numb in cold water. Then she insisted on pouring water on my legs and arms. I started to smile. I smiled so broadly that I decided to go fetch A, who was sweltering at home.

Soon all of us were hanging out in the wading pool. And though my daughters claimed that they were just going to get their feet wet, the water was too tempting. One of them was in summer finery, dangly earrings, a blue dress, hair clipped up with glinting baubles. The other was in swimming shorts and a striped t-shirt, hair newly cut shorter on the sides and longer in the back in a cool cut (in both senses of cool). She’d cut her hair herself.

Soon their clothes clung to them, soaking as they splashed, dipped, chased, not only each other but all the kids in the pool. They ranged in age from 3 to 12, girls and boys, of all colours and languages, but the pleasure was universal, the ear to ear smiles, the laughter, the squeals. I couldn’t resist. I joined them. I splashed, I sat in the wading pool, I got soaked. It was joyous.

Today we’re going to hang out at an air conditioned mall for the day. And then we’re coming back to the wading pool for a recap.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

5 thoughts on “*Heat

  1. Oh, I understand this heat. It is, or has been, over 100 degrees here (our plants have died) and we just returned from heat equal to that. Pools become sanctuaries. Malls become strangely pleasant. May this pass for you.

    I’ve got two—my husband and son—utterly into World Cup as well.

  2. We’ve also had a long string of hot days, mitigated only by trips to and from air conditioned homes, cars, and offices. I miss being outdoors…and I have no little ones to urge me toward the swimming pool.

  3. Beth, my kids are no enamoured of the mall and want to go back. They’ve been to a small local mall, but we went to the major one off the highway and it was an eye opener.

    Becca, it does get suffocating being indoors all the time, doesn’t it?

  4. We had one New Year’s Day here a few years ago that was in the 40s… it was so hot you really could have fried an egg in the middle of the road. We do routinely see mid- to high-30s temperatures here in the summer months, but at least in Sydney there are plenty of beaches! The wading pool sounds really fun.

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