Hot Butt by John L. Neel

In truth, the summers in Izmir Turkey are steaming hot as only a coastal town just off the Aegean can be.  Situated around a long bay, well off of the actual coast, Izmir only gets relief as the Imbat, northern winds, and the Lodos, southern winds stir through the city streets, kicking up sand, soot, and salt, and mixing the competing smells of restaurants, automobiles, the bay, and horses.

It takes a while for you to get used to the heat and the smells.

When Kady and I brought the kids over for the Summer, E was five months old and Jay was almost three.  That's right, Kim flew to Turkey with a two-year-old toddler and an infant, on five aircraft, taking about forty-eight hours.  Then, three months later, she did the return trip, alone.  She was a hero!

Not once did she complain about the heat or that we had to walk everywhere we went in the city and seemed to always be up for a stroll to see the sights or to go out to dinner-so long as I could find her a burger.

Jay and E could have been anywhere.  It wasn't like they noticed any difference, except for Elise suffering from massive jet lag.  They were just happy little American Kids.

It is also true that the Turks loved my kids.  We couldn't go anywhere without the Turks wanting to stop us to pinch their cheeks, coo at them, hold them, and, this was always the funniest, cover E up. 

The days were so hot that E lived in diapers and a little diaper cover and J in shorts and a sleeveless shirt.  Turk babies, on the other hand, are bundled up in blankets no matter how hot it was, and the Turk ladies were hell-bent on wrapping E up like a burrito.

One day, as we were walking from the PX down Neveres Boulevard toward Ataturk Circle, with Kady up front, walking with Ellen, pushing Elise along in her eight-wheeled umbrella stroller, I was in charge of keeping Jay safe, holding his hand, making sure he didn't dart out between the parked cars and into the ever-present traffic.

I noticed Jay lagging a little behind but thought nothing of it until I saw the Turks across the Boulevard pointing and laughing.  My first thought was that they were more Jay and E loving Turks until everyone up and down Neveres began laughing and pointing.

I turned back to look at Jay, and the reason for the pointing and laughing, and the reason he was lagging back was that he had pulled his pants down to his knees and was walking along in all his glory.

As I stooped down to pulled up his "big boy pants" and his shorts, I asked, "Buddy, why are your pants down"

"My Butt Was Hot, Daddy," was his matter of fact reply.

I stood, looked over at the Turks, and shrugged my shoulders.  "Hava çok sıcak," I said to those who could hear.  That brought more smiles and more laughter and approving pats on Jay's head from the men.

Yes, the weather WAS very hot.