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Modern Dad

The heat is on, or off…It depends on your point of view.

By Jon Show.  I love summer. I love summer so much I originally campaigned to name our daughter Summer. The Mother of Dragons said we couldn’t name our kid after a season so we gave her the same name as a ‘90s cult movie star. I have no idea how that’s better.

I could rattle off many of the things I love about summer but you would probably list much of the same: Cookouts, lake days, pool trips, fireworks, bike rides, watching the grass die.

But as everyone in my family is fond of reminding me—I’m weird. Which means I also have other very specific reasons why I love summer.

The sun sets so late in the summer that I have no concept of time. There are nights in the summer when I go to bed and it’s still light outside.

Sometimes I look up and realize it’s 7 p.m. and no one has eaten any food. Does anyone care? No. They’re all outside doing who knows what.

I love summer because I don’t get notes from school about the Blonde Bomber refusing to sit down all day in Kindergarten because she’s six and no six-year-old can sit down all day. By the end of this past school year I’d received so many notes that I didn’t bat an eye unless it involved petty larceny.

Summer brings torrential evening downpours that double as entertainment while sitting on the patio. Minus lightning, they also serve as evening baths for the kids if you grab a bar of soap. The Mother of Dragons says I’m too old to do this myself but I checked the HOA guidelines this year and found nothing. Sorry neighbors.

The farm stands reopen in the summer so I can buy dried peanuts and boil them in the Crock Pot. My family loves boiled peanuts. Last summer we ate some on the deck of a fancy country club pool before we found out they had a no-peanut policy due to an airborne allergy. The lifeguards had to scrub the pool deck with a bleach solution while we sat in the shade. We weren’t invited back.

In the winter if someone asks you to do something on a Sunday afternoon and you have no interest in doing it, you have to come up with a creative excuse. In the summer, if you don’t want to go you just say you have to mow the grass and everyone blankly accepts that your availability is the same as someone who’s deceased.

The music on the radio is so much better in the summer. Despite my best efforts to make my kids like good music, they prefer whatever Bieber or DJ Whatshisbucket is cranking out on the Top 40 stations. Ever listen to Top 40 stations in the winter? Terrible. I guess the silky sounds of the Biebs weren’t meant for icy temps.

The Kool Kat ice cream truck swings by our neighborhood all summer long. I have a rule that my kids can buy ice cream as long as they use their own money. Last winter, at the start of Future Man’s first basketball game, one of the refs yelled his name when he walked on the court. I later asked my son how the ref knew him. “He drives the ice cream truck,” he replied. Kid must buy a lot of ice cream.

There’s no school bus to catch in the summer. Camp starts at 8:30 so I don’t even set an alarm in the morning. When I wake up the kids have been awake for 30 minutes? An hour? Who knows? I usually have to walk outside or drive around the neighborhood to find them.

The fireflies that come out in June are the greatest thing ever. I cherish any living thing with a butt that lights up. If you want to have a next-level firefly experience put them in your kid’s room and turn the fan on medium. It’s like standing directly in the middle of a meteor shower.

School starts in late August, which gives us roughly eight more weeks of epic wakeboard sessions and pool days and fireworks. Fifty-six more days of Kool Kat and bike rides and sleeping in. More than 1,300 hours of cookouts and fireflies and bare feet.


Not that I’m counting or anything.

Modern Dad is Jon Show’s take on life in Cornelius. This 40-something dad lives in Robbins Park with his wife—The Mother of Dragons—and two kids: Future Man, their 9-year-old son, and The Blonde Bomber, their 6-year-old daughter.