Bethany Schoeff, Columnist

 So, as I write this, submissions for our Holiday Issue are due in one month.  I find it really difficult to think about fall and winter when it is 92° outside with 70% humidity.  Being a cook and an actress, I should be able to pretend it’s cold, with leaves or snow on the ground, and create recipes that both warm and comfort . . .  Still, a bowl of soup just doesn’t sound that appealing right now, no matter how hard I try.

 It is also really difficult to write when I am trying to use my free time to squeeze all that I can out of what’s left of summer.  Where did it go?!  The kids start school in a couple weeks, and we haven’t done much over this break . . . . nothing memorable, anyway . . . nothing that wins me points in the “Fun Mom” department.  We didn’t take a family vacation this year, so what happened to the plans that summer could instead be filled with hours spent at the pool, play dates with friends, week-long camps, and day trips to fun places (even if just around town)?   The inevitable questions when the kids return to their teachers and classmates—“So, what did you do this summer?”  “How did you spend your break?”—will go unanswered.

 Suddenly I feel the pressure is on.  A few activities over the next couple weeks must be enough to salvage the reputation of “Summer Break” . . . and of “Fun Mom.”  I hear the clock ticking . . . . and have an urgent need to make a list of things to do before school starts:  baseball game, bowling, waterpark, movie, children’s science museum, clean the house so we can have a few friends over, maybe pick a destination within the state to explore for the day, and even drag myself to the pool a few times.  And perhaps there may still be time to erase some of the mommy guilt too.  I need to learn that no matter how small the event or insignificant the time spent doing (or planning!) it, the memories we create as a family are what’s important . . . and hopefully enough for my kids to sincerely answer, “Summer break was great!”—even if every activity doesn’t get crossed off that list.  There’ll be plenty of time for hectic schedules once the school year starts.

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