5 Reasons I Love Summer
If you’ve been around here for a bit, you’ll remember that my favorite season is fall but that doesn’t mean you can’t love bits of other seasons. As a resident of one of the most humid options in the continental United States, I can promise you that the temperature and constant rain are definitely not on my list but here are five of the things I love about summer…
You get to act like a kid.
There’s something about the summertime that makes you feel like it’s okay to be silly. I’m not sure if it’s the memories of summers past, the potential for fun vacations or the freedom of being out of school but the expectations seem a little different. I know I have the luxury of more “freedom” in my summers because I’m on a school schedule but even my friends with a more traditional schedule are open to silliness in the summer. For example, last summer me and a friend went halfsies on an adult size blow up swimming pool that we threw in her backyard and promptly named “Stars Shallow” in honor of Gilmore Girls. My little squad looked absolutely ridiculous floating in 8 inches of water but it was so fun and money well spent!
You can go on adventures.
Speaking of acting like a kid, do you notice how, with the right people, anything can become an adventure? Blow up pools and late night ice cream trips and shopping extravaganzas and movie marathons. Something about the summer brings out my adventuring spirit. Winter makes me want to snuggle down under my bed covers but the extra hours of daylight during the summer make me want to pursue something new. I’m so thankful to have a “Anything Can Be An Adventure” type of squad. We’ve discovered back roads, abandoned churches, potential ghosts, hole in the wall food joints and even Dolly Parton’s mansion. Why not turn the mundane into a fun adventure if you can?
There’s so much good food!
I’m southern so good food can be a great adventure, in and of itself, around here and the summer offers some DELICIOUS options. Don’t get me wrong… soups, stews, chilis and the like are still on my favorites list but grilled anything might be a close second. The beautiful weather and cultural propensity to bring snacks to anything creates some memorable events in my neck of the woods. For example, we have entire festivals based around food...like one type of food. We have The Blueberry Festival, The Watermelon Festival, Barbeque Throwdowns and tons of festivals based around seafood. You could not dream of a more delicious and magical paradise. Add on all the sports venues with their delicious dishes and round it out with everything patriotic for the 4th of July and you can’t help but fall in love.
Late nights become magical.
As a teacher, summers tend to be the only time I can stay up late. Actually, it’s not unusual to find me in bed before dark during the school year or only staying up late to grade papers and make lectures. Personally, I enjoy staying up late when I’m not tired so the summer allows me to have that freedom. What is it about being up in the quiet hours of night that makes normal tasks seem different. It’s not even like I do anything of great importance but nothing beats staying up late reading a favorite book until your eyes burn.
It refreshes this teacher’s soul.
Along the same lines as the above thought, summers provide something teachers need.... refreshment. Just in case anyone is confused, teachers do not get paid to not work during the summer. I have a contract for 187 working days but I CHOOSE to have my paycheck divided into twelve months. Also, I would hope that by this point in the pandemic everyone can agree that teachers work beyond their contract hours on a pretty regular basis. The summer provides teachers with many opportunities that we can’t usually pursue. For example…
I can pee anytime I want...ANY. TIME. During the school year, I actually have an alarm set for the last guaranteed bathroom break allowed for the day. (Fun Fact: It’s before lunch!)
Speaking of lunch, I can eat when I’m hungry and I don’t have to do so while doing other work AND my food can be eaten while it’s still warm.
I can be sick or have a headache. Any teacher will tell you that it takes far more effort to prepare for a substitute teacher than to just suffer through and it takes something pretty big to keep me home. Having the option to just not feel well and not have to be “on” is pretty fantastic.
Speaking of being “on”, teachers have a pretty exhausting job. My mother was a teacher and I knew this but I didn’t KNOW this until I became a teacher, myself. There are some days when I have to speak for eight hours with minimal breaks while not being able to sit and essentially herding cats. Sometimes, the most peaceful moment of my day is in a bathroom stall… unless a kid tries to have a conversation with me through the door which happens more often than you would think.
Don’t misunderstand me, I LOVE being a teacher but I also know the burnout is real and without moments of refreshment, I’d never make it and certainly wouldn’t be at my best for my kiddos.
While this summer may not be the summer of our dreams and I’m guessing they’ve never made a teen beach movie that takes place during a pandemic, we can still enjoy the small joys of the season while making our own adventures. So, here’s to a summer worth remembering, even if it’s not for the reasons we would plan!