1) Shut up, I don’t actually hate summer, I’m not a MONSTER. Just stay with me.
2) Mosquitoes. Obviously. Hey mosquitoes WE ALL STILL HATE YOU. I have done zero research on this and I am completely confident that mosquitoes could be wiped off the face of the earth and nothing – not one single thing – would be negatively impacted. Humanity would just march onward toward climate-change oblivion. Climate Change: Now Without the Itch!
Imagine how sweet. Sit under the stars and just think of it. Oh wait, NO! DON’T sit outside! You are covered in mosquitoes. You are BLEEDING OUT. Congrats! You have malaria.
3) The ice cream truck. When at first you come singing It’s A Small World After All, when you come to us just as we have closed on the longest, darkest months of the year with your hopeful playfulness and sweet delights…oh, how I love you. And you when you come back a second time, I am amused: Ok kids, have another ice cream, life is short. But when you come back EVERY SINGLE NIGHT EXACTLY AT DINNERTIME? When you come back just as I’m about to triumphantly deliver some (albeit questionable) hot dog-type protein to my mildly nutrient- deficient offspring? When you do that? Well. You can go FUCK YOURSELF, Ice Cream Pusher-man. You can take your type-2 juvenile diabetes on wheels and… and… and… DRIVE AWAY. You are a heartless drug-dealer not even dealing the good kind of drugs. You’re not like: HEYHEYHEY lil mommy, here’s a margaritttaaaaa. No. You are dealing Sponge-Bob popsicles with gum-ball eyes, BLACK gum-ball eyes, LICORICE gum-ball eyes. Because black licorice is terrible and we are all dead inside.
4) The Farmer’s Market. Why? Because you and your man-bun are there doing partner- circus-flying-trapeze yoga. Is that your girlfriend holding you up? Stop it. I am trying to eat this organic, vegan samosa and your effort to be the farmers-marketest-whitest-white guy EVER is highly distracting. No one cares, bro.
Also, your toddlers are dirty. Wash them.
5) Guess what? Everyone on Facebook is having a better summer than you are. Than I am. Than ANYONE has ever had, or will ever have. Seriously, LOOK. It’s right there for the world to witness and it’s PERFECT. There are pics of boats, beaches, cabins, sunsets, picnics, festivals, outdoor movie nights, bouquets of flowers, glasses of wine, date-nights, perfectly camp-fired s’mores, and beach books hovering above bronzed thigh gaps through which you can see the sparkling and beckoning surf.
People are only and eternally #blessed and #grateful and #sandinmytoes. No one is fighting, no one is crying, no one is poor, no one is working weekends, no one is not getting laid, no one is languishing for hours playing Minecraft, no one is stressed out, no one is throwing a tantrum, and no one is ever trying to accomplish actual work while children lurk and watch with vacant eyes.
On Facebook, the entire world is a dream-board of expertly executed summertime memories. Yeah. Go there. See it. Feel bad. Your summer sucks.
6) Which brings me to this: the perennial and relentless pressure to have the best summer everrrrrr. I mean, have you done ALL the things? Well, HAVE YOU? Have you been to the farm? Have you been to the other farm? Do you have a garden? Is it picturesque? Will you can it – jam it – pickle it? You DO have a farm-share though, right? RIGHT? Have you hiked? Canoed? Kayaked? Biked? Camped? Have you been stand up paddle-boarding? My GOD, have you even done yoga on the paddle board? Have you been to the river? The pond? The lake? The ocean? Do you have a hammock? Are you IN IT? HURRY UP, PEOPLE. It’s gonna be mind-scrambling COLD in less than two months and/or tomorrow. There are memories to be made. ALL the memories MUST be MADE.
7) And finally: summertime rolls. So fast, too fast. I hate this part the most. It comes rushing like vernal rivers swelling and urgent, and it’s gone again too soon. Somewhere inside the fleeting warmth of these long, light days are moments of unadulterated perfection. Perfectly imperfect. They’re not the moments you planned for, or fretted over, or dreamed of. But here they are – moments translated into memories forever imprinted on your family, your squad, your tribe.
Memories branding you, writing your story. Like that time you quit work early and ate gas- station salami sandwiches driving on a back road with all the windows down and nowhere to be. Or that time a dip in the lake turned into an epic water fight, a battle to dominate the last raft floating – the one still not popped – kids clawing, clamoring, exhilarated by the shocking sound of a mom yelling HOLD YOUR FIRE, YOU LITTLE SHITS.
Or the time you bought the drugstore kite and tried to fly it in the cemetery and fell backwards over a gravestone while your kids clutched their hearts laughing at you, directly AT you, and you thought this must be what success feels like: the sound of their laughter alive in your blood. It’s that heavy eyelids, sticky forehead, still-a-baby, sunburned nose of a growing seven year old boy fighting sleep to tell you that he had fun today, that it was a good day today. And his love is all you’ll ever need, his love is all the summers coming and gone pressed together, shot through with wonder, and set ablaze in your heart. So full it might explode. So full you can’t breathe.
Because here it is, and there it goes. Another summer, another year, another collection of days caught like fireflies in a jar and let go again. It’s nothing we planned. It’s everything we hope for. Light slanting, days shifting, circadian rhythms tick-tocking. And it rolls.