Where are the Lazy Days of Summer?

So here we are. Into July now. The Fourth is over and I'm sure we'll start seeing ads for back to school soon. (Side note: Back to school really is its own holiday.) So after all my touting how much I love summer you ask: how am I doing with summer?

I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love seeing new friends, spending every afternoon at the pool, going wherever we want on most days, but it is busy and I can't get anything done.

I have been giving the opportunity to write for Washington Parent magazine. I am now trying to contribute to a few other blogs. I have editors to pitch for other stories, a book to write and kids to raise. Somehow with the kids and the chores, I have zero time for my extras. No books. I have been trying to finish four books.

I somehow reversed my summer a bit. The begining part was filled with empty days and afternoons by the pool, starting this week, our summer will become more scheduled and I have an upcoming three weeks--I can hardly believe it--three weeks of morning summer camp for both kids. I think had this been at the beginning of June I would have felt bad, but now I feel so ready for the break.

I had a conversation with my grandmother this week, mom to six children, on how she handled summer vacation with all the kids. Our parents and grandparents generation boast about how great summer was with no schedules and no school. But then she pointed out the world was different. Summertime meant sending your kids out in the morning, telling them to be home by lunch and then giving them the boot until dinner time. Kids roamed the streets and went house to house looking for fun. With changing times where parents have to be with kids so much more, it makes the summer months longer and harder for parents. Even I remember wandering the neighborhood at the age of 4 or 5, as long as I had bigger kids with me. No more is this the case.

Though as I sit here at Panera this morning, I look around and am enjoying the number of moms here with their school-aged kids, enjoying a quite morning bite before a day of activities. And these are the activities I enjoy with my kids. The spontaneous, low-key excursions that are not expected in our daily routine. And only summer allows us this freedom.

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