Yeah, I know... EVERYONE loves fall. At least, it seems that way. When October hits, you can't go on the Internet without someone singing the season's praises. So maybe it's unoriginal that fall is my favorite time of year. But I don't care. It always has been, always will be. Not to sound like a hipster, but I loved fall before it was cool to love fall. Before there was ever such a thing as a pumpkin spice frickin' latte.
It dates back to when I was still in school. My friends and classmates would grumble about the end of summer, and I might join in to fit in (because that's what you do when you're a kid and care so much about things like that), but secretly, I was gleeful. I loved going back to school. I loved the new clothes and school supplies and return to routine (Type-A, anyone?). I loved the break in the heat and humidity and that clean, crisp feeling in the air. I loved the promise, the unrealized potential of a "new" year.
Even in college, when new courses involved the unveiling of a syllabus that always seemed horrifyingly long and impossibly full of assignments, I still liked sitting down in a new professor's class, not knowing for certain just how mind-numbing his or her lectures were going to be. There was always that hope that this teacher would be one of the great ones. And that actually turned out to be true... about 20% of the time. And for the first week or so, I was still blissfully ignorant (and fresh off a summer away from coursework), so my fall high wasn't tainted by the eventual truth.
Nowadays, back-to-school isn't as fun as it was when I was the one actually going back to school. Maybe it would be different if I were a stay-at-home mom, and the return of school signalled the return of peace and quiet in the house. But alas, it just means I get to come home from working all day to help with homework. Or sign papers. Or taxi kids to extracurricular activities. But even though fall means more work for me, I still love it. Why is that?
No, it's not about pumpkin spice lattes. Although I do like them. But I haven't even had my first one yet this year, so it's not like they're everything to me. Pumpkin pie frozen custard, on the other hand... Look out when they roll those bad boys out at the frozen custard stand down the street from my house. But I digress.
Maybe it's that humans are so impressionable from the age of five to twenty-two that the feelings associated with those eighteen autumns became a permanent part of my personality. (If that's the case, I'm glad they were positive experiences.)
But it's more than that. Because loving fall as an adult is no longer connected to the back-to-school process. Now, mixed in with that hopeful feeling is excitement for NFL football (everyone has the same record on the first game of the season, baby!), for hunkering down in hoodies and scarves, for chili simmering on the stove, for the beauty of the changing leaves glowing in the sunlight, for the tapping of rain on the already-fallen folliage, for giving thanks for all of our blessings, and yes... a little bit for pumpkin spice lattes.
I like them, okay? I wish that hadn't been turned into such a capital offense by the "Cool Police." Ahem. Anyway.
Or maybe my love for autumn is related to my November birthdate. It's probably somewhat natural to enjoy the season in which your birthday lands. If you enjoy birthdays, that is. I do. Growing older beats the alternative. Most days.
So tell me. What is YOUR favorite season, and why?