How I'm spending the holiday weekend. |


Happy holiday weekend, fellow Americans! If you have the day off, how are you spending it? I started by waking my kids at 9:30. (For years, they were up before sunrise—I never thought I’d see this day.) I wake them so they will eventually go to sleep, because having their company at 11 p.m. is not working for any of us. But it’s hard to push them out of bed only to hear them complain of boredom an hour later.

For months, I wished there were more hours of distance learning in a day. Then school ended and I realized how good we’d had it. Structure had been a big help. Now, our only mile markers as we make our way through each day are mealtimes. (Though Camp TFK starts July 6, see below for details.)

We can handle this for July and August, but September looms large. Last week, my state released guidelines for reopening schools. They were broad and noncommittal but indicated classroom instruction. Instantly, social media was ablaze with anxiety for the health and safety of children, teachers, and school staff. Yet had the announcement suggested that school buildings would stay closed, the outcry would likely have been worse. This reminds me of snow days, which seem like a relic from a simpler time. When the school called the evening before a predicted storm, it elicited outrage that they would make a decision before the first flake. When the call came at 5 a.m., it elicited anger that schools hadn’t left working parents time to make a plan.

This is much rougher. The stakes are higher, the decision more complicated, and emotions are running high. I don’t envy the decision-makers, and I’m doing my best not to project my wants and needs onto the outcome. If ever there was a moment to take parenting a day at a time, it's now. But boy, these days are long. Even when they don’t start till 9:30.

To our U.S. readers, have a lovely holiday. Email me at to tell me your weekend plans.

All the best,

Camp TFK, our free digital summer camp featuring daily activities—created and curated by TIME for Kids editors—launches Monday. Sign up for the newsletter to learn more. 

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