Most people would not claim summer in New Orleans to be their favorite season. But for me, it stands above the rest as the best season in New Orleans. I will break down the others for you and maybe help convince you as to why you should feel this way too.
I hear a lot of people claim fall as their favorite season. I get it, the pumpkins, the hay rides, Halloween, it is a great time of year. For me though, the fall can’t get it together. It is still blazing hot and it throws my senses for a loop. I look around and all the decorations, and hot pumpkin chai teas and fall flavored coffees, and they scream at me that it should be cold. However, the reality is, I am standing in the middle of a pumpkin patch in shorts, sweating, and wishing I had ordered the iced pumpkin coffee instead of the hot.
We can just skip over this one; New Orleans can never decide whether it wants to have a winter or not. In the few days we do have winter, I am never sure what to do with myself. My house is cold, my body is cold, and we cannot go outside for long periods of time. As soon as I figure out how to navigate this cold weather, it’s over. We do not get the pretty snow and snuggled up fires with hot chocolate; we get ice and school closures and raised houses with freezing feet. So, although I love Christmas and all the twinkle lights, it’s not my favorite season.
Spring in New Orleans is beautiful. If I didn’t love summer so much, this would be my favorite. The weather is cool and more consistent, people are out and about having fun, and it’s festival season of course! I do love a good NOLA spring, but not quite as much as what’s to come.
Summer, ah summer, you get a bad rep, but I am here to defend you. I think my love for the summer stems from my own childhood. Long, hot days with nothing to do but swim, lounge and read. The stresses of school gone and the unaltered simplicity of childhood really showed itself in those months. My own parents let us stay up late, long past the sun going down, and sleep in much too long. Time melted together as those long hot days drug on. Baths were optional, we all know swimming counted. Running around in bare feet and a swim suit was your only obligated attire. As an adult, I feel all the same old feeling as the season approaches. I get excited when the first batch of swim suits and sunscreen hits the shelves. I take a walk down the aisle with the inflatable pool toys, bright and cheerful, and smell the plastic on them, and it brings me back to that simpler season.
Now a parent, the unhurriedness is my favorite thing about the summer. I love all the extra time with my kids doing all the fun summer things. Adults and kids alike are less in a hurry for after-school activities, getting home for dinner, bath and bed, just to start all over again the next day. The warm New Orleans air casts a spell over us. There is an unanimous unspoken rule that no one will be moving in a hurry, working or not. This easy-going atmosphere causes us to stop, and just be with each other. While kids play into the night, adults can lounge, talk and laugh in the company of friends without feeling the school time rush. And you know as a parent, your kids are experiencing all those same things you did when you loved the summer. Their bare feet, pink cheeks, and crunchy hair from too much time in the pool. The sticky sweetness of snowballs dripping down their mouths and hands. It makes me smile to see them. I know in the future that when they smell sunscreen and see the first rows of pool toys in the store, it will take them back to their own unrushed carefree summers.
Now, instead of complaining, I look forward to the heat and even the humidity; opening your door and having the wind knocked out of you from that warm and sticky hot air, giving you a morning hug. And with that warm hug, you know, it’s going to be a good day.