I remember when I was a kid and the end of the school year would fill me with delight and feelings of freedom. Now, as a parent, its just the opposite.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm looking forward to taking the kids to our annual family trip to North Carolina and I'm excited about diverting but exhausting day outings to places like Governor's Island and Storm King. It'll be nice not to have to brave the mobs at school pick up for a few months, too. But make no mistake: it is the kids' vacation, not mine. I'll still have deadlines; only difference is, I'll have to meet them with my kids beating the crap out of each other next to my computer and begging me to play more video games because they are so bored.
Of course, there's camp, blessed, wildly-expensive summer camp that my kids will be going to, despite the fact that they insist they need time to "do nothing" (aka watch TV and trash my house). But that only accounts for a few weeks. For the rest, I think I'll have to hatch a plan, one which includes lemonade stands the kids can run on their own while I sit nearby on my laptop. Maybe they'll make enough money to pay for their own babysitter -- or at least the electronic babysitter known as Netflix. Modern parenting, at its finest.
Nicole is a parenting writer who contributes essays and articles for magazines like Parenting, Parents, American Baby and Babble. She lives in Brooklyn with three children, one husband and a morbidly obese goldfish.