While we were up in Maine I spent a lot of time outside working in the yard. As a result, I became a feast for the neighborhood mosquito and biting fly squadrons, and also got a good coating from the sun.
By the end of my visit, I was covered in bug bites and was a bit sunburned to boot. As I debated whether to scratch the hell out of the itchy bug bites (and, of course, ultimately doing so because I just couldn’t help it) and felt the warm tingle from the sunburned areas, I found myself thinking that the combination of sensations felt distantly familiar — and then I realized that I was re-experiencing conditions from my childhood summers. In those days, Mom would kick us out of the house after breakfast and we would pretty much be outside all day until dinner — and then again after dinner, to play freeze tag or catch lightning bugs until it was full dark. When you’re outside all day, a good slathering of Off! can only do so much — so my summers inevitably were accompanied by bug bites, mild sunburns, and the colossal itchiness that that combination brings.
When I realized that my condition was recreating a common experience from childhood, I felt a certain wistfulness that it had been so long since I’d felt that unique combination of bug bites and sun. You don’t fully realize how much of an indoor, office-bound person you’ve become until you spend a good chunk of time outdoors on summer days and then deal with the consequences. So, even though I’m still working away at a few of the especially itchy spots, I was glad for the bites and the burn and their reminder of the sunny days of yore when spending hours outside was just how the world worked.
Want to feel like a kid again? Spend a lot of time outside, and the bugs and sunshine will help to remind you.