When I was younger, as should be the case with every red-blooded American child, my favorite season was summer.
As I’ve gotten older, that’s become less and less true.
These days, as I’ve written before, my favorite season is fall.
Ironically, this year more than ever, my preferences are inspired by the same factors as they used to be, but with opposite results.
As I child, fall marked the beginning of the school year. Vacation was over, and it was time to go back to the daily drudge. When those days became a thing of the past, they left a mental mark that has stayed with me. While I used to dislike the end of vacation, the annual transition left me with a lasting sense of fall as a time of change, of new beginnings. The sort of association most people have with spring of hope and newness is very much something I associate with autumn instead. Every year, there’s a day where there’s a crispness to the air that makes it feel like fall has truly arrived, and with it there’s a sense that anything is possible.
On the other hand, as a kid, I loved summer for the fact that it meant that school is out. Fast-forward to today, when I’ve been working for the last nine months as a substitute teacher. The end of the school year doesn’t mark the beginning of a vacation — I’m still working at the Depot, but it means no subbing, which means less work, which means less income. Seven-year-old me, I’m sure, would have never imagined that three decades later, I’d be bemoaning the beginning of summer vacation, but that’s adulthood in a nutshell.
Plus, as sad as it is, as I get older, summer increasingly becomes about one thing:
It’s the time of the annual struggles with my air-conditioner, of days where outdoor fun is just a lot less fun, of having to change clothes after work to get through the rest of the day. That has to be proof of global warming, because the only other possible explanation is that I’m just becoming grouchier as I age.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of fun things to do in summer — grill out, go to the beach, visit an amusement park, and so on and so forth.
I just prefer to do them all in the fall.