In my next life, I’m going to have central air conditioning. I’d like to place my order now just so there’s no confusion when I come back as a three-bedroom suite at the River Rd. Avalon.

Has summer always been this hot or did someone turn up the thermostat while I stepped outside for a hot flash? I have a lot of these lately — moments every organ in my body feels like it’s being submerged in a deep fryer, trying times of desperation when fitting my whole head in the freezer and closing the door on it feels like a viable option. (You know, I just realized we have too many waffles …)

I’m sure I could convince my stubborn husband to farm just as easily in this little state called Alaska. Arugula in Anchorage. Think “Northern Exposure” with an agricultural twist.

I don’t hate summer. In fact, there are some things I would go so far (to Alaska and back, baby) as to say I truly love (in no particular order) and a bit unconditionally, much like white wine or Milo Ventimiglia’s Instagram feed.

  1. Not having to drive my kids to and from school. The Cider Mill pickup line, the cars backed up like they’re waiting for Rise Doughnuts? I’ll take June 12 for $1,000, Vanna. I’m not missing it right now. Although the car parade did make me about as nostalgic as a Blues Traveler song. Complete waterworks central.
  2. Fireworks — they never get old. Except maybe on the few times hubby gets it into his head to DIY the whole operation. Ever read Glass Castle? I live in a constant state of fear.
  3. Going barefoot, braless and commando. Sorry. I’m usually not much of an oversharer. I think the heat must be getting to me.
  4. Nature’s pyrotechnics. No ER visits required. Easily canned. Very shelf-stable.
  5. Binge-watching stuff I was already binge-watching to begin with but feel less guilty about now because it’s summer and doesn’t that imply some modicum of laziness without remorse? Besides, doesn’t every wife need something to watch as she scrolls through Facebook while her husband falls asleep next to her? Such a cliché, yet so true. Someone, please teleport me into Red Oaks (but not really, because I’m pretty sure I’m not interested in reliving the 80s or pulling off bangs (or Aqua Net) again).
  6. Having any excuse not to cook. Too hot, too tired, (like headaches to sex) … too many hours in the day, too many kids at home … no one ever died from eating frozen pizza and, oh, the kitchen’s closed.
  7. Swimming. In a pool, lake, pond … it doesn’t matter really. The other night I got in the bathtub fully clothed and gave Junior a good scrub down, (not one of my finer moments) and the rubber duckies are still out to kill us apparently.
  8. The smell of fresh-cut grass (maybe three times over the course of 10 weeks if I’m luckier than one of those killer duckies). When we lived near the Wilton Historical Society, we used to have one of those plug-in numbers with a very long extension cord attached, in case I needed to hang myself when the whole operation was said and done. This was especially enjoyable on the times I had my middle daughter (circa 18 months) strapped to my chest. I feel like I should have at least been granted some sort of hazard pay.
  9. Messy, sticky, not worth the trouble … no, I’m not talking about marriage, calm down and don’t drop your popsicles ’cause I love those, especially the ones that are loaded with sugar and contain Red Dye No. 40. The afternoon treat of champions over here. Really, such a crowd-pleaser.
  10. Watching the sunset at the end of the days, hours, minutes I start counting until Aug. 30 because I’m literally one drink away from hunting down an actual pair of underwear, booking a one-way ticket to the Last Frontier, and setting off some fireworks in the bathtub. Those ducks had it coming.

But then I open the freezer, stick my head in for what seems like the duration of the Cider Mill pickup line and suddenly, just like that, the heat doesn’t seem so unbearable anymore, my kids don’t seem nearly so needy and demanding, and the heat lifts with my mood, giving me the heady high of an Aqua Net-induced mist and the post-hot flash glow of the lovely Vanna.

“Baby, I’m a firework,” I say to no one in particular as I drive past the Avalon, turning up the AC just as Blues Traveler’s “Hook” comes on the radio. Someone’s setting off a hell of a light show in the distance (not at the Avalon, I’m relatively confident they wouldn’t allow it). It’s times like these it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else. The heart brings you back. Alaska’s got nothin’ on us.

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Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice. 

CORRECTION:  Due to an editing error, the word ‘fireworks’ was unintentionally omitted from the second item on the list of Lesley Kirschner’s 10 things she loves about summer.