I was born at the end of August, so I rarely had a big birthday party as a child. Most of my friends were often on vacation when I had my birthday, so there wasn’t much point to throwing a party. I also was something of a loner as a kid, so maybe I wouldn’t have had anyone to invite anyhow? My memory on this is foggy, which maybe isn’t a bad thing. When I think of what I want for my children, and how it pains me to think that my outgoing, social butterfly of a daughter might not have friends or might not be liked, it makes me wonder how my personality affected my parents and their hopes and dreams for me.

But that’s not just tied to summer, that’s just my baggage. Summer has always been my favourite season, and I do enjoy the way it is in Ottawa. The evenings are usually warm enough that you can stay out in shirt sleeves and shorts or pants, daylight lasts until nearly 9 p.m., which means evening walks are easy to do, and it’s just so emotionally uplifting to be outside in the sun. I love the way my skin smells after I’ve been out in the sun, even for a brief period, and on the rare occasions I do a bit of tanning, I like how that looks, as well.

I do hate the mosquitos and some of the other bugs that show up in the summer months: earwigs on the humid days and if there’s no air conditioning; mayflies at the gas stations (not sure why, but it’s a thing); June bugs on the screen doors in July or August; and mosquitos, always the mosquitos. But they’re a small trade-off for the heat and the humidity, and just getting to enjoy being outside.

This year I’ve also started to take advantage of something that’s an unthought-of tradition in parenting; drinking outdoors with the neighbours while watching the kids. Maybe that’s more of a Maritime tradition, but I admit I’ve been enjoying it. I’m not sure what about it appeals to me, though maybe it’s just getting to see my kids playing and having fun and enjoying themselves with each other and the neighbour kids. Or maybe it’s just that I enjoy socially-acceptable drinking, and doing it with company is even more enjoyable.